The first eSports tournament in Cypress is coming to the Berry Center next Saturday, July 27, 2019.

bEta Sports has sold out its first Smash-A-Palooza and closed ticket sales earlier today. In all, Smash players will have roughly 100 people cheering them on during the tournament and celebration of gaming.

Editor’s note: Find out who won the Smash-A-Palooza contests at this link!

The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament and cosplay competition event opens at 4:30 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m., Saturday, July 27, 2019.

“The biggest comparison are the big boys — Comic-Con did something in Houston, but not anyone could enter, just pros could come out,” said Clay Ratcliff, the man behind Smash-A-Palooza becoming a reality. “That was our idea for what we wanted to accomplish: We want anybody to be able to enter it and regardless of your skill level, we’re going to treat anybody like a pro gamer, and they can have that experience.”

While the event will be in the Berry Center, located at the intersection of West Road and Barker Cypress (8877 Barker Cypress Road, Cypress, TX 77433), attendees will enter a new realm with a 50-foot interactive backdrop built by Ratcliff and crew.

“We’re going to have a lot of things going on,” Ratcliff added “The tournament is almost the background. We have Smash World, which is like 50-feet wide. It’s got platforms and stuff they can climb on.”

Smash World will be perfect for selfies and gamers who wish to jump into character in a video game world.

“There’s a 50-foot background mural with a battle world,” Ratcliff explained. “The idea is that if you stand back, it will look like you’re on a Super Smash stage. It’s an amalgam of one — one that we made up. We’ve even got the little player (name) squares.”

A digital mock-up of Smash-a-palooza's 50-foot-long Smash World, for the July 27, 2019, event scheduled at the Berry Center. (courtesy bEta Sports)
A digital mock-up of Smash-a-palooza’s 50-foot-long Smash World, for the July 27, 2019, event scheduled at the Berry Center. (courtesy bEta Sports)

The bEta Sports team ended up building more than originally planned, and are expecting to have set pieces, such as the Dream Land Tree from the Kirby video game series, around the interior venue.

The Smash-A-Palooza tournament will be delay broadcast on bEta Sports’ Twitch channel (click link to visit Twitch).

“All our vending and concession areas will be game themed,” Ratcliff said. “We want it to be like you’re in a game and you’re upgrading. The concessions will be the ‘First ATE kit.’ We want it to be like an in-game experience even if you’re just going to get a beverage.”

A sample of the "merch" available to Tier 3 competitors at the Smash-a-palooza tournament and cosplay competition at the Berry Center July 27, 2019. (courtesy bEta Sports)
A sample of the “merch” available to Tier 3 competitors at the Smash-a-palooza tournament and cosplay competition at the Berry Center July 27, 2019. (courtesy bEta Sports)

More than just a tournament — Event features

Tournament battle arena, with big screen for spectators

bEta Sports tech booth

Player interview station

bEta Sports “Loot Box” gift shop

“First Ate” snack bar

Smash World Climbable Art Area

Player reaction camera station

Ten n64 console stations running the original Smash Bros. game — and classic gaming arcade

Dreamland Tree Lounge Area

Cosplay competition

Tournament Rules (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

Singles (no teams).
1 match elimination (with the opportunity to purchase an extra life/match).
3 stock (in-game lives).
No items.
7-minute max or sudden death.

Players will also be limited to the Switch Joy-Con controllers, not GameCube-style Switch controllers.

There were 74 playable characters at launch (76 if you count Pokemon Trainer’s various pokemon), add in Piranha Plant and Persona’s Joker for two more (76 and 78 characters), and the tournament will have a plethora of battle combinations.

However, Smash-A-Palooza will not allow the Mii Fighters in the tournament. So you, or your Player 1, will need to practice on the regular characters before the tournament.

There are 11 legal stages for Smash-A-Palooza: Battlefield, Final Destination, Lylat Cruise, Pokemon Stadium 2, Smashville, Castle Siege, Kalos Pokemon League, Town and City, Unova Pokemon League, Yoshi’s Story, and Yoshi’s Island (Brawl).

Additionally, there are “etiquette” rules players are expected to follow (click the link for PDF).

“The whole idea is for it to be a fun night,” Ratcliff said. “Of course the kids are going to be amped up. We want people to have fun, regardless. It’s an experience — If you get knocked out (of the tournament), come around and be an audience member.”

What’s next for Cypress eSports?

The bEta Sports team is already working on its second Smash tournament, and is set to return to the Berry Center on Nov. 2, 2019. The event will have a Halloween theme.

You can buy tickets at a discount right now (click link to register).

What is cosplay?

For those not familiar with cosplay, the Berry Center might look like Halloween in July.

But there’s more to it. As mentioned in the below Kotaku video, anyone dressing up as another famous person or fictional character is technically cosplaying.

Planning to rock a pro football jersey at FCU Stadium or Pridgeon Stadium this fall? Add a fake helmet or some face paint with it and –boom– it’s cosplay.

Have a fully decked out 405th Mjolnir armor set? Definitely cosplay.

With the wide range of Smash characters, almost any video game series will lend itself to Smash-A-Palooza’s cosplay contest!

Smash-a-palooza tournament and cosplay trophies. (courtesy bEta Sports)
Smash-a-palooza tournament and cosplay trophies. (courtesy bEta Sports)

See you there!

Cypress' first eSports competition is coming to the Berry Center July 27, 2019. Tickets sold out over a week before the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament.
Cypress’ first eSports competition is coming to the Berry Center July 27, 2019. Tickets sold out over a week before the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament.

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