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Senior Spotlight: Kaleb Slawson

OU Esports has been an incredibly positive influence on Kaleb “Slawdini” Slawson, captain of the Super Smash Bros. team, Super Smash Bros. ambassador, and former club president. Slawson is an information science technology major and has been involved with the OU Gaming Club since 2018.

Slawson has been gaming since as early as he can remember, and his love for the Super Smash Bros. franchise dates back to his early childhood.

“It was my dad’s fault,” he said. “He gave me a Nintendo 64 when I was three. It was his Nintendo 64 that he got from my grandparents as a gift, and when I was old enough to hold a controller, he let me try it out. I loved it so that 64 became my 64. I would wake up before kindergarten just to play Super Smash Bros. before school.”

Experience

Slawson describes gaming as having had an immense impact on his life, and he became involved with OU before he even graduated high school.

“For the longest time, I played baseball, and when I wasn’t playing baseball, I was playing video games,” he said. “In high school, I tore my rotator cuff, and so I stopped playing baseball. I kind of lost half of my extracurricular activities. Everything else was baseball, and I would use gaming to chill out.”

After Slawson’s injury, he participated in Super Smash Bros. tournaments at his high school and in the metro area.

“It completely changed my life,” he said. Most of Slawson’s friends during this time were made at this tournament, and he described this time as when he really became focused on the gaming community.

Around the same time in 2018, he first started attending Sooner Smash Dojo, a Super Smash Bros. tournament put on by OU’s Smash Club. These events led Slawson to the OU Gaming Club once he was a freshman at OU.

“As a freshman, I knew I had to get involved with the development of their tournaments. That was around the time that the Gaming Club merged with the Smash Club, and we were running the tournaments with the OU Gaming Club.”

Because of Slawson’s involvement with the Sooner Smash Dojo and other smash events held by the OU Gaming club, he became more involved until he was offered the vice president role. His involvement later led to him becoming the organization president from Fall 2021 to Fall 2023, as well as the coach for the OU Esports Super Smash Bros. team.

Impact

Slawson enjoyed many of the events he worked on during his time with OU Esports, but a few particularly stuck out to him.

“[My favorite event] is easily Sooner Dojo,” he said. “It’s my whole thing at this point. I really enjoy all of our Back to School events and the Asian American Student Association tournaments that we do for charity. Those are always fun. But there is just nothing that can top Sooner Dojo in my head.”

Through his different roles within OU Esports, Slawson has gotten the opportunity to develop many important skills.

“It’s been a lot,” Slawson said. “I’ve developed a lot of management skills over the year. I’ve just had to manage so many people to run the tournaments, whether it be managing participants or other ambassadors who are helping with the event. Just all of the moving pieces.”

Slawson’s skills also grew in areas he was previously unfamiliar with. “I learned time management and advertisement. I have to know who to advertise to, when is a great time to advertise, and how I should space out the ads so that people can actually see them.”

After graduation, Slawson will continue to run Sooner Dojo and hopes to find an IT job in the area.

Slawson has had a huge impact on OU Esports during his involvement, and he will fondly remember his time with the organization.