Competitive Smash Bros. in Las Cruces: Everything you need to know

Elijah Nix

More stories from Elijah Nix


David Castañeda

Attendees of the community tournament each started their battles against one another with a friendly fist bump. Oct. 17, 2022.

Since 1999, “Super Smash Bros.” has captured the hearts of gamers with its comical battles between Nintendo characters. Twenty-three years later, the legacy lives on in “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” for the Nintendo Switch, a game with a large and growing competitive scene. 


Gamers from all over NMSU gather every monday from 8-10 p.m. at Super Gamers located inside the Mesilla Valley Mall. Oct. 17, 2022. (David Castañeda)

Everyone who plays smash on any level knows how much fun it is, but some players might be weary of competing for a variety of different reasons. Maybe it’s fear of failure or fear of being the newbie in a group of regulars. According to the veterans, it’s worth facing your fears. 

“I was nervous to talk to all the old-heads,” said Russell White, team manager for NMSU’s Smash team, “but after a while I got more comfortable with it, because I kept telling myself, ‘I really want to get good at this,’.” 

“I come [to locals] pretty often,” said Ozzy Tague, an NMSU Esports player, “and I just got 2-0ed by some guy I’ve never even played before, and that just happens.” 

For many veterans, jumping into the competitive scene allowed them to find community with people they might not have met otherwise. 

According to Boston Russo, another NMSU Esports player, “Most of us get along pretty well and you can get… deeper connections and get to know people really well,” he said.  

To get plugged in with the local scene, join the NM Smash Discord at Local tournaments in Las Cruces currently take place at Super Gamer in Mesilla Valley Mall, on Sunday evenings at 5:00 p.m. To watch the streams, you can visit 


What about Smash with NMSU Esports, specifically? Why should students join Esports? 

For one, Esports gives students access to competition that might be harder to achieve without it. NMSU Esports currently holds local tournaments in the Esports room on Thursday evenings. 

“There’s so many people on campus that would love to show up to locals, but they’re like, ‘I don’t have a car!’ or ‘I don’t want to have to walk to the Mall,’” White said. “We’ve got something. It’s convenient. It’s right there. It’s a jump, hop and a skip away from you.” 

A Super Smash Bros. match amongst friends begins. Oct. 17, 2022. (David Castañeda )

Not only does Esports provide local opportunities for players, but also provides opportunities for participation in major tournaments such as Low Tide City in which some NMSU Esports players have competed in. 

“We got to meet number one in the world, which is M. K. Leo, number two in the world, which is Spargo, and a lot of other really good players like Dabuz,” said Christian Florez, an Esports player ranked 7th overall in Las Cruces. 

Even if you’re still not sure about Esports, the Esports room is always open to students regardless of interest. It has several TVs with console setups as well as dozens of computers. The Esports room is located above Corbett right next door to The Round Up offices. 

For more info on NMSU Smash, join their discord at or follow NMSU Esports on Twitter: @NMStateEsports.  


As was true for many of the veterans I interviewed, your first few tournaments will kick your butt. It is then that you ask the ever-important question: How do I get better?  

One of the biggest pieces of advice was to simply keep at it, and stick with people who are doing the same. 

Local ESports players show their love for the hobby after their match. Oct. 17, 2022. (David Castañeda )

“As corny as it sounds, keep grinding,” White said. “Always engage with people who you think are better than you…. You’re bound to get better. There’s no way you can’t get better.” 

Another piece of advice I learned was to learn Smash through a character that feels comfortable to play. A character YOU like. 

“Play someone you think is fun,” advised Florez. “Find that “feel-good”, play it for a while, and once you learn Smash through that character… play anyone you want.” 

DeAndre Martinez, an Esports player ranked around #3 in Las Cruces, said that patience and knowledge of the game’s rhythm is critical to success. 

“The biggest problem with beginners is that they just want to keep hitting,” Martinez said. “My biggest piece [of advice] is just know when to chill out. Know when to relax and then know when to kick it into seventh gear.” 

Super Smash Bros. has made such a profound impact on the lives of many, and it’s easy to see why. It’s fast, familiar, and fun. And what better way to enjoy the game than playing it with others? 


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