North Texas Daily

UNT club combines bevy of fighting games

UNT club combines bevy of fighting games

UNT club combines bevy of fighting games
March 28
01:01 2019

On a relatively quiet Saturday in the Business Leadership Building, the sound of mashing buttons, cheering and playful banter breaks the silence during the weekly club meeting of the UNT Fighting Games Community.

The UNT Fighting Games Community started out as a game community. When it was absorbed into Tespa, a national esports organization, club members decided to leave to create their own club — the UNT Ultimate Gamer Club.

“[We] left [Tespa] to create the UNT Ultimate Gamer Club because we’re like, ‘we don’t like this,'” president Garrett Gage said. “We want to be able to have our own autonomy.”

After the president of the UNT Ultimate Gamer Club graduated, Gage was elected as the new president and transformed the club into the UNT Fighting Games Community.

“Now we are back and it took forever because UNT bureaucracy is really dumb because you have to fill out a bunch of paperwork,” Gage said. “You have to find someone who’s willing to be the adviser for the club and so eventually, we [were] able to finally do that, and here we are.”

Even though they have removed themselves from Tespa, the UNT Fighting Games Community is able to remain involved in esports because of their adviser and esports coordinator, Dylan Wray.

Member of the University of North Texas Fighting Games Community Bailey Roberts plays on an arcade stick controller during a meeting at the Business Leadership Building in UNT in Denton on Saturday, March 23, 2019. Image by: Emily Olkkola.

The most popular games that the UNT Fighting Games community plays are “Dragon Ball Fighterz,” “Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2,” “UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe:Late[st]” and “Street Fighter V,” according to Gage.

Gage ran into the original fighting game club his freshman year and found they played games he enjoyed, like games within the “Guilty Gear” and “The King of Fighters” franchises. Gage found his place within the club, which sports eight to nine members per meeting.

“We’ve never had a lot of people here,” Gage said. “I think because we’re smaller, we’re closer.”

Vice president Austin Waybright found his place at UNT with the UNT Fighting Games Community as well. Back home in Belmont, Texas, Waybright would play fighting games online against others by himself because none of his friends were very interested in fighting games.

“I’d rather lose to [my teammates] 50 million times and be able to haggle that I suck than lose to a guy 50,000 times online that I’m never going to meet, and just be like, ‘wow, I suck,'” Waybright said.

The UNT Fighting Games Community also recruits those interested in fighting games by hosting a free tournament every two weeks.

“We try to do more outreach stuff to bring more people in the community because we know fighting games are really hard for a lot of people, and we want to have people hang out,” Waybright said. “High-key, we all suck. We’re all really, really bad, but we just play the game and hang out with each other, so this is the whole point. We’re going to have fun and enjoy each other.”

Many of the club members head over to one of Freaks and Geeks LLC’s weekly fighting game tournaments.

“We go and none of us do well except for James [Manchette],” Waybright said. “James is actually good, but we go and we get bodied. There’s a guy who talks like, ‘Everyone from UNT just mashes buttons and hopes that they win,’ and it’s like, ‘Yeah, that’s just what we do.'”

Computer science sophomore Brandon Maldonado came to the UNT Fighting Games community dabbling in fighting games like the “Super Smash Bros” franchise, the “Touhou Project” franchise, “Skullgirls” and “Persona 4 Arena.” After Maldonado started showing up to the UNT Fighting Games Community meetings, he learned a variety of new fighting games including “Guilty Gear,” “UNDER NIGHT,” “BlazBlue: Central Fiction,” “BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle” and “Arcana Heart.”

“They showed me like, ‘here’s how the buttons work,'” Maldonado said. “I had only learned fighting games on my own there’s a bunch of weird stuff I didn’t know. They were just really helpful in teaching me how to play, and I just got really into it. I just wanted to play more games. [Now], I am kind of known for the person who will play literally anything, and I’m also known for being the person who will play the most obscure games that no one has ever heard of.”

Maldonado said what he looks forward to most in coming to UNT Fighting Games community meeting are the people.

“For the most part, everyone, even the people that I’ve had some qualms with, I really just like being with them,” said Maldonado. “I like playing games with them, [the] ability to hang out with people and do something you both enjoy together. Fighting games just give so many crazy, fun moments. You can get so much exciting stuff happening.”

The UNT Fighting Games Community has a “Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2” tournament on March 30 with signups starting at 1:30 p.m.

Featured Image: Members of the University of North Texas Fighting Game Community react while playing a fighting game at the Business Leadership Building in UNT in Denton on Saturday, March 23, 2019. Image by: Emily Olkkola.

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Emily Olkkola

Emily Olkkola

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