Smash for Coffee
By: KHUN NYAN MIN HTET
Nanjing – “You know hips don’t lie!” exclaimed Christian Flores, a second-year MAIS student. He wasn’t referring to Shakira’s famous song “Hips Don’t Lie,” but Princess Peach’s ability to knock her opponents off the stage using her hips in Super Smash Brothers.
A group of Super Smash Brothers enthusiasts came together to participate in the first ever Smash Tournament at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. With a 100 RMB gift card to the HNC coffee shop at stake, HNC smashers brought their A-game and used their favorite characters during the competition.
Spectators livened up the competitive arena with fun comments such as “He plays like an economist!… Well, I mean, he did go to the University of Chicago!” and “That game between Wolf and Toon Link … is like Little Red Riding Hood, except that Riding Hood (Toon Link) has a sword and a shield!”
Andrew Rankin, a first-year MAIS student and tournament organizer, told the SAIS Observer that the Super Smash Brothers community is a representation of positivity that is everywhere at the HNC.
“The students come every now and then for a couple of hours, several times a week and play. It’s a good way to take a break from reading and studying. I also notice that students would then go back to studying afterward,” Andrew explained. “It gives you energy and fun. You can completely escape from studying and then go back to studying afterward.”
After several hours of battling, first-year MAIS student Nathan Frit emerged victorious. The veteran Smasher described the tournament as “stressful” and “overwhelming.”
“I didn’t expect that I would win! I am not great when playing under pressure. But I like this game a lot,” said Nathan.
While Nathan took home the gift card, the participants were able to share the real prize, a fun time with good company.
All photos courtesy of Khun Nyan Min Htet.
Khun Nyan Min Htet is a staff writer at the Nanjing Bureau. He is a HNC Certificate/SAIS MA student currently completing his Certificate at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center before starting at SAIS DC this fall.