With Super Bit Wars coming soon at the end of this month, I sat down and talked with some of the tournament organizers who have been putting on this annual event, which currently has games like Smash Ultimate and Street Fighter and about 300 attendees.
Pooyan or ‘Rice’ is the Smash TO from Tulsa.
Ricky, Matthew, and Chris are from HXC, an organization which holds tournaments for fighting games like Street Fighter, Tekken, and Dragon Ball Fighterz.
This interview was conducted separately and has been edited.
The Origin of Super Bit Wars
Ricky: It’s (Super Bit Wars) right in the backyard of Oklahoma… And it’s got a lot of history.
Pooyan: It really goes back to another guy named Forrest Sharp. His tag was Solidus. He was like the Smash TO for Oklahoma at the time. And he had this idea where he wanted to bring the fighting game community and the Smash community under the same roof for an event.
Back then it was very much that Smash wasn’t considered part of the FGC, because people thought it was like a kids’ party game.
So Forrest wanted to bridge the communities. And then Ricky McNeal, who is the head of HXC, he got involved with him and he said “Let’s do this. Let’s make this happen.”
And before the event could even happen, Forrest passed away in a car accident.
Ricky: He passed away a week before Super Bit Wars 1… This means a lot to his friends and family that come out to the event.
Pooyan: And Forrest was gone. And the Smash Community and the HXC hosted the first Super Bit Wars in his honor. So the tagline for every Super Bit Wars is for Solidus.
Ricky: His mother attends the event every year. She loves it and she just knows the people are there because of him.
What’s difficult about organizing Super Bit Wars?
Pooyan: The largest event we ever had was 253 and we’ve already gone above that. Scheduling the event alone has been difficult to figure out when all the games are going to be going on. But that being said, we’ve done plenty of the work. And I’m really happy because we’ve pushed it to this point.
Matt: We’ve already started planning Super Bit Wars 8. It takes at least a year of planning. It’s stressful, but it’s fun. We probably won’t sleep all weekend.
Ricky: We won’t sleep all week.
Chris: We are always consistently trying to raise the bar about what these events are going to be every year.
Advice for newcomers?
Pooyan: Try and find out whether or not you’re going to enjoy being around the people that are there.
And try to talk to people and make friends. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and approach people to ask “How did you do that?” or “How does that work?” because people are generally nice.
Ricky: Don’t be scared to lose because that can be a learning tool… We got casual setups and you can play with other gamers and they can tell you how to get better.
Matt: You’re going to feel the sense of community. You’re going to feel the competitive edge. You’re going to come out and learn, come out and make friends.
Any players you’re looking forward to seeing?
Pooyan: He is the number one player in Dallas. And his tag is Awestin. And he does not travel. He hasn’t been to an out-of-state tournament since 2014, which was when he came to Oklahoma last.
He has been destroying people. They’ve been flying people out to Dallas to play him and he’s been destroying people.
Local Oklahoma Players
Pooyan: I’m very excited to see how Zurge, KingK, and Shiny are going to be doing against these out-of-state players.
It’s going to be interesting to see who makes it the farthest out of those three. Especially now that Esam and MVD aren’t here, it’s going to be interesting to find out how far the rest of the Oklahoma players can go.
Ricky: One player I’m looking forward to seeing is Ray Daniels. He’s also known as “RayboneKilla.” He wins a lot of our tournaments, but he’s never won a Super Bit Wars.
Matt: He quit playing the game a couple of months ago… And seeing a lot of people from Texas and other regions, he decided to come back and protect Oklahoma. He wants to keep the title for Tekken 7 in Oklahoma. So he came out of a semi-retirement.
What do you hope players take away from Super Bit Wars?
Pooyan: I want them to go to that event and at the end of it… say “I need to play more. I’m not satisfied. Or that was so much fun. I want to play more.” I just want people to continue and have fun. And grow the fighting game community in Oklahoma.
Ricky: Esports is alive here in Oklahoma. A lot of times people say that there’s not a big video game scene. But going to Super Bit Wars, you’ll see that is drastically wrong.