Super Smash Bros Tournament held in memory of Dylan Arnold ’20

By SK Thirumala ’22

The furious smashing of controller buttons and joyous whoops of those emerging victorious can only mean one thing around this time of year.

You guessed it, the final Super Smash Bros Ultimate tournament of the year.

I attended the Smash Bros tourney with some of my friends, who were all much better than me at the game. Boy, was I in for a treat.

The event kicked off with a few speeches from Mr. Lum and Mr. DeLateur, talking about the purpose of the tournament. It was dedicated to Dylan Arnold ‘20, a Bellarmine student who unfortunately passed away a few years ago. Dylan had a great love for the Super Smash Bros series, and holding this tournament in his name was an emotional tribute to him and his family. The tournament raised money for an organization that Dylan supported, STOMP out Bullying, which had its focus on eliminating bullying. The moment, although short, felt sincere and really showed me how amazing it is that we, as Bellarmine brothers, can rally to something and join as a community to help others. Really seeing some of that “men for and with others” the teachers are always talking about.

So the tournament was off, starting with a kind of round robin round, where 4 contestants faced off in an all-out brawl. There were 52 competitors, so the round robin was divided into roughly 6 heats. Only the top 2 in each round advanced.

To put it short, it was madness. There was frequent screaming from the audience, as the players duked it out in merciless king of the hill style games. Eventually, it all came to an end, and the top 2 from each heat moved on.

After the round robins, as well as my chances of winning coming to an abrupt halt in the ruthless 4v4 mayhem, they moved on to more simple 1v1s. It stayed that way until the very end when dare I say it got even crazier in that theater.

Anik Singh ‘20 ended up on top after destroying opponents left and right, and claiming victory to his name. I mean, you should see this guy play. Calm face, perfect posture, and serious button mashing is a deadly combo.

Sadly, the tournament came to an end, like all good things do, as we had to make room for another event going on in the theater that night. But let me tell you something, even though I got knocked out in the very first round, I still had so much fun. Seeing a good 100+ people, all who have a burning passion for this game, a burning passion to raise money for others, band together and scream their heads off at full-screen intense gameplay was one of the coolest experiences of my life.

Due to time constraints, I, unfortunately, did not get to interview Mr. Lum or Anik. However, I will end this article with an excerpt from Mr. Lum’s heartfelt email, which touched me emotionally and made me want to come back to every single smash tourney in the future.

“Yesterday, on the last day of school, we ended the year as Dylan Arnold ’20 would have wanted us to; in friendship, playing interactive games that bring people together, and doing it all for charity. Thank you for all who participated or just came to enjoy the show.

We collectively raised $952.20 for STOMP out Bullying, a charity for a cause very close to Dylan’s heart who was himself someone who had been bullied and decided to stand up to bullies as well as befriend those who had been bullied. He found his home in Bellarmine Theater Tech and playing in Sobrato Theater was a wonderful coming home for him.

We hope to make this a yearly event… So many thanks [to everyone] are needed for bringing this event together.”