Over time, many casual, hardcore and competitive gamers-alike from all over CSUSB have been gathering to celebrate video games. For many students, participating and spectating the annual Coyote Cross-Up is a time to come together and connect as a community in the world of esports and gaming from many different backgrounds alike.
Starting in 2017, the Santos Manuel Student Union (SMSU) Gamer’s Lounge has been hosting their annual video game festival, called the Coyote Cross-Up, which is centered around competitive fighting games, such as Mortal Kombat 11, sprinkled with casual games such as Among Us.
On November 14, 2020, the SMSU Gamer’s Lounge celebrated its third annual gaming event virtually. It’s during this time that CSUSB gamers duke out competitive first-place winnings online in a variety of fighting games to win grand prizes, such as PC gaming peripherals. In addition, side events and presentations relating to casual gaming were also offered between tournaments.
For this year, the tournaments that were hosted on the streaming platform, Twitch, included:
– Super Smash Ultimate on Nintendo Switch
– Dragon Ball Fighter Z (PS4)
– Mortal Kombat 11 (PS4)
– Rivals of Aether (PC)
– ASI’s Arcade Howl – Super Smash Ultimate (Nintendo Switch)
Aside from the plethora of offerings included in the tournament line-up, casual play and mini-presentations were also offered to supplement the time in-between tournaments which included:
– Among Us
– Streaming 101 with Katherine “Captain Wardog” Warren
– Poster Presentation on Accessibility Technology Gaming Kits by Kevin Cleppe on Discord
– Live Q&A with High-Level Super Smash Ultimate Player, Jon Cuevas
Psychology major, Alvin Do, shared his experience with the event. “I joined the Smash tournament because I thought it’d be fun,” said Do. “I think this event is a fun thing to bring in the students who have similar interests. For me, I haven’t been here long enough to think about the gaming community of CSUSB, but I’m looking forward to having fun at this event, as it’s my first one. I hope there’s more coming!”
Although many players who entered willingly planned to participate in tournaments offered, students like Benjamin Barajas, a graphic design major, spectated.
“For the first all-virtual event, I think we did well,” said Barajas. We all have small cracks but nothing that can’t be fixed. I liked watching the finals for ASI’s Smash Tourney and the official Gamers Lounge Final. It was indeed very thrilling! I think the event is a great start to a lot of greater things in the future, and I cant wait to see what will come next!”
Despite the event being virtual, CSUSB students like Do and Barajas still enjoyed the event and hope there is more to come in the future.
Services Coordinator Staff Council Member, Jessica Madrigal, says, “This was the first virtual gaming festival. Connectivity and participation was a big concern. It was kind enough to lend hotspots for the event to ensure the success of our virtual gaming festival. The Coyote Cross Up Committee held a test run to make sure all platforms used on the day of were good to go for the event.”
Madrigal continues, “My favorite part was the enthusiasm of students and being able to offer the program despite the pandemic. We were able to reach a new crowd this year because of the challenges. The event is tailored to our students but also to the community. We aim to promote making connections with others via video gaming.”
Organizers were worried about how the event would function online. Christian Lopez, a psychology major and tournament organizer, says, “As an organizer, the main challenge we saw was making sure everything went well in regards to connection and making sure everything went according to the schedule. Luckily, everything went well and we finished on time.”
The tournament is expected to be held again next year, as Lopez says, “We plan to run Coyote Cross Up again next year, but for now we’ll be running smaller-scale tourneys for the students and hoping they continue to enjoy the events we have.”
There is another gaming festival planned for the Spring semester as well as an esports club for the campus. Madrigal says, “We encourage all feedback for our future events.”
To stay updated, connect with other CSUSB gamers or to ask questions about the SMSU Gamer’s Lounge, email them at [email protected] or check them out on the SMSU Gamer’s Lounge website, Facebook or join their official Discord.