by Lucy Graves
Good Games UAB held their first in-person event in over a year, Blazercon, a gaming convention at the Student Hill Center where students could win scholarships and prizes.
Good Games UAB, according to their own definition “fosters a community of students with diverse backgrounds who actively engage in numerous esports and technological initiatives and activities,” from the organization’s Instagram @gg.uab.
In previous years, they used to rent out the entirety of the Hill Center for Blazercon, hosting hundreds of people. This year they had to follow the new guidelines.
“It’s very different. We’ve always been used to having 70, 80 person events in ballrooms with all of our PC setups. I hope we can get some semblance of that in the fall,” said executive director Seth Maynor, a junior majoring in neuroscience.
Blazercon was held in Ballroom D this year, with a small group of the community coming out to game with their friends for the first time in over a year.
“It was good to lug those TV’s up from the second floor and plug them in,” said Maynor.
Bailey Hite, an organization member for over a year and sophomore majoring in art was at the door handing out free merch bags and checking students’ event passes to ensure safety. She only ever knew the event as virtual, since the scheduled Blazercon of last year was cancelled due to the shutdown that was put into place just a week before.
“All of the gear in here is from last year,” said Hite about the merch bags being handed out to attendees.
Most of the games were streamed on Discord so that students who could not make it in-person could still be present and involved. Similarly, they opened a Minecraft server for the weekend, where you could join and play online anywhere. Many members joined on the server to link and build with their friends, including a voice channel on Discord where you could talk to them while playing.
There were 9 people competing in the “Green and Gold Gauntlet”, a gaming competition for prize money. Anyone that could access the Hill Student Center on campus was allowed to compete. The first-place prize was a brand-new gaming chair and a $500 scholarship, while the second-place prize was a $750 scholarship. The only requirements were 12 minimum credit hours, a 2.75 cumulative GPA and participation in at least four of the qualifying tournaments.
The event had many different games and tournaments you could compete in, from Portal 2 to NBA 2K, Pac-Man, Brawlhalla and Nitronic Rush. It was a point-based system where the higher you placed per game, the more points you would get. The event started with a Super Smash Brothers tournament on Nintendo Switch.
They kept the final games a secret until the very last day of the competition on Sunday. The final game to determine the winners was a jigsaw puzzle that took hours to finish, which was also streamed on Discord.
The winners of the competition were Aubrey Smalley in first place and Craig Hanks in second place.
Good Games UAB streams on Twitch once a week at twitch.tv/ggUAB. They also host gg.Fridays on Discord where they host party game lobbies like Among Us and Jackbox. You can catch up with all future events through their Instagram, @gg.uab, or their Engage organization page.