This past Saturday, co-ed professional engineering and computer science fraternity Theta Tau hosted a “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” tournament in the Old Dominion University Webb Center. This year’s pledge class, the largest in the fraternity’s history, designed the tournament as a chapter fundraiser, and test run for future gaming events.
Freshman Aaron Kelman and transfer student Joe Thompson planned and orchestrated the event. Thompson used his connections with the local GameStop at Military Circle to secure the tournament’s prize, a brand new copy of “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” copies of “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” and the G155 portable consoles on which competitors played.
“Since our fraternity is an engineering and computer science one, gaming is something we knew everyone liked. Now that we see [that these events are] successful, we’re going to be a doing a series of game tournaments,” Thompson said. Titles they hope to hold future tournaments for include “Halo” and “Super Smash Bros: Brawl.”
As for why they chose “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2,” Kelman said. “We knew the new [Call of Duty] had just come out and so this would get the most people out here.” With the money they earned from entrance fees and “buy backs” into the competition, they plan to purchase supplies for pledge events.
Alyssa Reiman, pledge class president of Theta Tau, said, “One of the biggest issues we had was how to get the word out. But I was surprised by the turnout. I expected it to be mostly other people in the fraternity.”
In the first round, contestants riddled each other with lead competing three at a time in Gun Game, a mode in which progressively better guns are awarded to players with more kills under their belts, and the first player to twenty kills wins the match.
Some player’s strategies hinged on the extensive use of cover, while others frantically fired shot after shot in a mad rush to seek out fellow competitors. The winner of the tournament admitted that competition was so tough he resorted to “camping” the spawn points of his competitors.
For the second round, the game changed to a one-on-one battle in Sharpshooter mode, where players have to endure random weapon swaps every forty five seconds.
Though the skill levels of participants ranged across the spectrum, many challengers expressed that they simply came to support the fraternity or have fun with fellow gamers, and for some it was just to have fun and ended up being their first experience playing “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.”
“There are people here who haven’t played in a while and people who just came to have fun,” said Michelle Pasco, a longtime fan of the Call of Duty franchise.
Fellow competitor Mickey Ross said, “I learned fast, that’s how I won my round. My original strategy was to line up kills for my friend, but then I realized he didn’t need the help.”
“It was fun to have all my friends and everybody here even though the guy I was up against was really good. I was just pushing every button known to man trying to kill him,” said participant Vincent Merino.
Though competitor Keith Eudailey lamented that the tournament restricted players to the default classes, he managed to land shot after skillful shot on the opposing players, and ultimately went on to win the competition.
“I already have CoD: Ghosts, so this is for my friend,” he said as he motioned to his prize. “I just came here to play.”
By Alyse Stanley