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The Aquilian

    Revived Gonzaga Gamers club hopes to rekindle spirit of original group

    Moderator Stefan Vastek, math teacher, participates in gaming with students.

    I walked into the club after school to hear the sounds of clacking controllers and game audio from the various Nintendo Switch consoles scattered Stefan Vastek’s math classroom with about a dozen or so students occupying them. The desks were huddled together and crowded by students all watching intently at the matches taking place; students used a variety of controllers from Joycons to Pro Controllers to GameCube controllers. Instead of the usual math lesson plan or notes, the projector showed a four player Super Smash Bros game. This was a typical Friday afternoon for the Gonzaga Gamers club, a revived club which has seen growing attendance throughout the year.

    Students gather in math teacher Stefan Vastek’s room in the newly revived Gonzaga Gamers club.

    “There was a gaming club that came before us that existed back in my freshman year (2017-2018), and I joined it towards the end of the year,” said junior, Evan Blakely, club founder. “I was disappointed when I realized the club was discontinued during my sophomore year. […] During the few meetings I went to, I had so much fun, and I figured maybe if I was able to restart the club then I’d be able to keep the spirit of the original club going.” 

    The club moderator Stefan Vastek, math teacher, isn’t shy about hopping in a few games himself. 

    “I’ve played [games] for a long time and still play sometimes so it made sense,” Vastek said as he helped set up the projector. “It’s pretty busy on our good days, and there’s a lot of people and we have a ton of fun.” 

    At the moment the club’s primary game is Nintendo’s Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, but the club hopes to expand its game library in the future to appeal and attract new members. 

    “A lot of our underclassmen really like smash, so that’s kinda our main game right now,” said co-founder Martin Roman-Perez, junior. “But we’ve been experimenting with other games like Mario Kart, Mortal Kombat, Dragon Ball Fighterz, Naruto and Injustice. We are also always open to suggestions, as well.”

    Blakely also spoke about the value of being inclusive.

    “I tell people that our club isn’t that strict, and they can bring in their own games and consoles because that is what the original club was all about,” Blakely said.

    The club has already had a successful tournament against the St. John College High School’s video game club at Gonzaga, and they hope to use the momentum and attention that the club gained as result of the tournament to organize new events in the future.

    “Playing St. John’s here was a lot of fun and a huge success, and we’re really excited to go over there and play later this month,” Perez said.

    The Gonzaga Gamers will have their next tournament on March 20 at St. John’s College High School. Further details are to be determined. The club meets on Fridays after school and during community period in room 305. 


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