Twenty gamers went head-to-head in the Undergrounds Coffeehouse Friday to test their skills in both retro and new games and determine who would be the victor of the 1-UP Cup, a tournament meant to emulate electronic sports competitions.
The 1-UP Cup was a five-round tournament with contestants battling in games of “Mario Kart,” “Ms. Pac-Man,” “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale,” “Gears of War” and “Just Dance.”
“We wanted to do an ultimate gamer competition rather than a who’s the best at ‘Smash Bros.,’ or who’s the best at ‘FIFA,’ because there’s tons of stuff like that that happens any given Sunday,” said Andrew Menfi, a Late Nite Binghamton programming assistant and a senior majoring in history. “We wanted to find out who was the best all-around gamer.”
Dow Moran, a sophomore majoring in computer engineering, came in first, and Kevin Armagno, a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering, finished second.
Moran won the Mario prize pack which included a Turtle Beach headset, a console tower, 13 months of Xbox Live, a V-Rocker gaming chair, the PAX Sivir skin for “League of Legends” and a case of Red Bull, while Armagno won the Luigi prize pack of a Turtle Beach headset, 3 months of Xbox Live and a case of Mountain Dew.
Moran said the contest was rigorous, with the “Just Dance” competition proving to be particularly difficult.
“Oh my gosh, yeah [it was intense] and everyone else was cheering and it really helped the mood,” Moran said. “Everyone was shouting. It was a lot of fun, and I didn’t realize how much energy it takes to dance and I’m actually sore now.”
During the games, Ryan Meitzler, a 2012 Binghamton graduate in English and cinema, and Menfi called the tournament, cracking jokes and commentating on gameplay.
“The biggest thing about playing games is that feeling of community and bringing people together, and also making fun of people as they’re playing the game.” Meitzler said. “I came up with the idea, but Eric really pulled it off.”
Eric Lepkowsky, a resident assistant in Newing College and a senior double-majoring in biology and history, based the 1-UP Cup on various eSports competitions for games such as “League of Legends” and “StarCraft II.”
“I like to watch electronic sports, and I wanted to try and bring that atmosphere here,” Lepkowsky said. “So we went with gamer tags the whole night for everybody, commentators, referees, giveaways, the whole shebang. I didn’t want to make it that dark tournament where you just see kids sitting in the corner playing and waiting for hours; I wanted it to be a show.”
The atmosphere of the tournament remained friendly, with contestants ranging from hardcore gamers to more casual players.
“I never really played any of these games, to be honest, so this is kind of new for me,” said Robbie Glover, an undeclared freshman. “It’s kind of interesting just because it is all pretty new to me.”
The popularity of the tournament could lead to future gaming competitions, Lewposky said.
“Based on the turnout and the feedback we are definitely considering doing it again — definitely again in the future, maybe even again towards the end of the semester,” he said. “This is just the first of many to come.”