Alex Collet and Boyd Lehmberg watch as Kenai’s Kenneth White and Nikiski’s Levi Kimbell compete in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at Nikiski Middle/High School in Nikiski, Alaska, on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Alex Collet and Boyd Lehmberg watch as Kenai’s Kenneth White and Nikiski’s Levi Kimbell compete in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at Nikiski Middle/High School in Nikiski, Alaska, on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

In-person esports match goes down to wire

In a small classroom at Nikiski Middle-High School, the Kenai Peninsula’s second in-person esports match was held Monday, with visiting Kenai Central going the distance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate but falling to the Bulldogs 3-2.

Smash, a platform fighting game with a roster of over 100 playable characters, challenges players to knock their opponents off the screen without letting the same happen to them. Any landed attacks increase how far and how fast that character can be launched — how likely they are to be unable to recover.

Teams of three play a best-of-five series of one-on-one rounds — those matches consisting of their own best of three games. In each game, both players have three stock — like lives — and the first to be launched three times loses.

Nikiski’s Levi Kimbell opened the action with a clean win over Kenai’s Kenneth White. The Kardinals tied up the score with a win by Alex Collet over Braeden Brigham. Boyd Lehmberg brought Kenai to a lead with a hard-fought win over Lincoln Kimbell, but Nikiski kept the door open when Levi capitalized on a mistake by Collet to win the fourth round.

Lincoln and Lehmberg were in a rematch in the fifth and final round. Lincoln played Terry and Lehmberg played Joker for all three games. Lincoln took the first, Lehmberg the second, and the two players held each other to their final stocks before Lehmberg fell behind the damage curve and ultimately was defeated.

Lincoln said after the match that, especially as the action proceeded all the way to the final stocks of both players, he had to play safe — any successful hit by Lehmberg could have seen the opposite result. Lincoln pointed to a “counter” ability that Lehmberg had used to win in two previous games as dangerous. Lincoln adjusted by avoiding his own biggest attacks to minimize openings for Lehmberg.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Kenai 1 had a bye this week, but sits at 4-1 and second in the State league, behind only Lathrop High School, which bested the Kards in a game last week.

Nikiski’s win over Kenai 3 on Monday was supplemented with a 3-1 win over Bethel Regional High School 2 on Wednesday, bringing the Bulldogs to 4-1 and fifth in the state.

Kenai 2 had a bye, but is also at 4-1, sitting at sixth.

Kenai 3, after losing to Nikiski on Monday, falls to 3-2 and eighth in the state.

Soldotna High School 2 topped Sitka High School 1 at 3-1 on Wednesday, rising to 3-2 and 11th in the state.

SoHi 1 took a 3-2 win over Sitka 2, rising to 2-3 and 19th in the state.

Rocket League

Soldotna’s Bryce LeFevre, Jax Nash and Aanson Clark were scheduled to play California’s Roseland Collegiate Prep in California Region action, but the game was rescheduled.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Kenai had a bye, but sits 4-1 and third in the Coastal Region.

Nikiski took a 2-0 win over Kodiak High School, rising to 3-2 and eighth in the region.

Soldotna was scheduled to play Kamehameha Schools Maui High School, but the game was rescheduled.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

Players, coaches and parents watch as Kenai’s Boyd Lehmberg and Nikiski’s Lincoln Kimbell play the final round of competition for a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate match at Nikiski Middle/High School in Nikiski, Alaska, on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Players, coaches and parents watch as Kenai’s Boyd Lehmberg and Nikiski’s Lincoln Kimbell play the final round of competition for a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate match at Nikiski Middle/High School in Nikiski, Alaska, on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Lincoln Kimbell shakes hands with Boyd Lehmberg after winning the final round of a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate match at Nikiski Middle/High School in Nikiski, Alaska, on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Lincoln Kimbell shakes hands with Boyd Lehmberg after winning the final round of a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate match at Nikiski Middle/High School in Nikiski, Alaska, on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

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