“Ready, Set, Game!” Smash Club hits the ground running


Contributed by Phukao Prommolmard

The newly revived Smash Club provides a space to make new friends.

Molly Wilcoxson, Staff Writer

One of the College’s newer clubs is aiming to unite the students of Grinnell through the power of video games. Smash at Grinnell, a club dedicated to playing Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, is open to players of all experience levels.

Although students have played Smash on campus for many years now — there was even a tournament-based club in 2018 — Phukao Prommolmard `25 and Axel Saries `25 formally created Smash at Grinnell last semester.

Prommolmard is currently the president of the club, overseeing booking events and communication with administration. Saries, along with Joel Choi `23, Luca Blankenship `24 and Zade Mullin `24 serve as technical officers, teaching new players the rules of the game and facilitating club meetings.

The majority of the meetings are open for players of all skill levels. Called “friendlies,” these meetings are intended to be a relaxed setting for students to play Smash together without pressure. 

“Last year, it was more focused on having tournaments and a space where people could be competitive, but this year we are more friendlies-focused,” Choi said.

Despite this shift toward new players, the Smash tournament scene is still very much alive at Grinnell. Saries, an experienced player with history in participating in national tournaments, oversees the seeding and organization of these events. The club plans to hold tournaments monthly, with the first one scheduled tentatively for Sept. 24.

“I fell in love with the competitive scene,” Saires said. “There’s something about the way the game moves, like it’s any other sport, that I’ve always found fascinating.”

Because of this, the game holds a sense of nostalgia for those who began playing at a young age. The factor that caused the three of them to continue playing, however, was the sense of community that Smash provides. Wanting to continue this spirit at Grinnell, they founded Smash at Grinnell so people could enjoy competition within a tight-knit community.

“I want to make sure that people — those without a community, or people who just want something to occupy their time with — can just go to our meetings,” Saries said. “Even if you’ve never played in your life, even if you’ve never played a game or heard of Smash in your life, come to Smash Club. I’ll teach you. I think this club does a really good job at being accessible to everyone, which is a great thing.”

Smash at Grinnell holds their “friendly” meetings every Sunday at 3 p.m. in HSSC room N3170. Super Smash Brothers Ultimate is available to play on the Nintendo Switch, though you do not have to own the console or the game to participate in Smash at Grinnell.