UTA’s Esports Club helped pave the way for a college esports community and recently celebrated the 100th Mav Mayhem gaming tournament.
Mav Mayhem is a weekly fighting game tournament hosted every Friday by the esports club. Attendees played during Mav Mayhem 100 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Guilty Gear Pursuit And Smash remixa fan-made mod for Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo64.
This is a big milestone for the club and the UTA Super Smash Bros. community, said Joshua Gridley, president of the Esports Club at UT Arlington. He said Mav Mayhem is one of the cheapest game tournaments to enter in the Metroplex, and the club is looking forward to reaching 100.
Esports at UTA began with the club’s formation in the spring of 2010, Gridley said. An esports team for the online multiplayer battle arena heroes of the storm emerged two years later. Currently, UTA has varsity teams for Rocket League, Overexpected, League of Legends And Super Smash Bros.according to the club’s website.
Alexander Rocha, student advisor to the Esports Club at UT Arlington, said Mav Mayhem started as simple Friday night gatherings where people played Super Smash Bros. Once there was more involvement and Mayhem became more of a normal thing, they could offer prizes and charge small entry fees every week.
This quickly became a sustainable business model for the club, with 30 to 40 people attending weekly to test their skills, Rocha said. Participants range from UTA students, alumni, high school students and local competitors.
Rocha, who has been in the organization since 2018, said that over the course of a few years they began to shift the club’s focus from the competitive scene to the casual campus community, with competition becoming a by-product of a growing community.
“As the casual scene started to grow, people wanted to have regular events on campus to just meet up and play games and have fun,” Rocha said. “One of those starting events was Maverick Mayhem.”
Graduate student Mohamed Mohamed, who did the planning portion of the event, said it’s great for UTA to have a strong gaming community as he’s seen some die out at other universities.
“To see that we can have a tournament every week and have a really nice turnout and people who are not only willing to show up and play but also want to get involved in the community like they want to help, they want to participate more , it makes me super happy,” said Mohamed.
With events like Mav Mayhem 100, Rocha said it provided a unique opportunity for club leaders to gain tremendous experience. He said a lot of effort went into logistics, graphic design, planning, marketing and finding sponsors.
“It’s special to see a whole room full of people laughing, having fun and cheering each other on, that’s special,” he said. “It’s a very special moment of connection for everyone, and seeing alumni who graduated three or four years ago come back regularly shows how much of an impact it has had on them.”
Going forward, Gridley says the organization plans to make Guilty Gear Pursuit a possible recurring game on Mav Mayhem tournaments. They want to start from the idea that the event is just an event Super Smash Bros. tournament, so the whole community of fighting games is included.
Rocha said he encourages people to attend any of the club’s events, whether they’re current students, alumni, or just a local Arlington.
“Above all, especially since I have been involved, the club wants to create a safe, comfortable social space for everyone to have fun, meet new people and enjoy themselves,” he said. “Life can get tough, and sometimes you just need a place to relax and enjoy an evening with your fellow community members.”