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Hand-to-hand (controller) combat

Clutter hosts Super Smash Bros. tournament Saturday

MORRIS – It was a battle for the ages as more than 20 digital warriors battled it out in a Super Smash Bros. video game tournament Saturday.

Clutter, located downtown Morris, hosted its first tournament on Saturday.

“If the turnout is good, people are happy, and they had fun, I’ll totally keep doing it,” said Tyler Oswald, one of the owners of Clutter.

Co-owner Melissa Oswald said the arcade has been popular since it opened in February.

“The same kids will come after school and will dump their bikes outside,” she said. “(Tyler wanted to) put together a tournament to get people out. To get them more social in this generation of internet and online gaming.”

The competition had 20 people sign up for the video game tournament. Rather than fight to the death, players in Smash Brothers attempt to shove their opponent off a platform suspended in midair.

The game originally was published for Nintendo systems, but now is available on a variety of platforms.

The franchise brings in a collection of characters from other games, and players can play as Donkey Kong, Mario, Star Fox or Pikachu, among others. Its popularity has spurred the creation of a Facebook page called Super Smash Bros. of Morris.

The final three matches had to be moved indoors because of rainfall.
In moments, the only sounds in the room were the TVs and the clicking of fingers on controllers. The tension was silent when two Fillenwarth brothers duked it out in the semifinal.

After about three hours of battling, Gage Phillips of Verona took the victory, going undefeated in every set and claiming the $150 prize. He said he travels to Romeoville to compete in Smash Bros. tournaments.

“It’s awesome to have something super close,” Phillips said.

“Everyone is nice and kind. Community is great,” competitor Logan Campbell said.

He occasionally plays the game with friends, but this was his first tournament. He finished in the top seven Saturday.

Some of the youngest competitors were friends Tyler Murphy and Jack Mills, both 13. They found out about the tournament through the Facebook page, but go to Clutter’s often to play in the arcade. Their young age wasn’t intimidating for them, and they both scored some victories.

“If I beat one of these people, I’ll be accomplished because they’re easily better at the game,” Tyler said.

Oswald apparently met all the conditions for a popular tournament, because Clutter plans to host another on July 7.

The Oswalds aren’t stopping with tournaments. They are planning on expanding the arcade, called Joysticks, and hosting other competitive video game tournaments.

The patio where the event took place also has hosted birthday parties, Girl Scouts and other groups.

An event called Creature Double Feature is planned for 7 p.m. June 16. A projector will play two movies and visitors can come watch it in a courtyard behind the store.

For information about upcoming Clutter events, visit their Facebook page.

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