Full Sail University

Esports Tournament Brings Florida High Schoolers to the Fortress

High school students from around the state competed in a ‘Super Smash Bros.’ tournament for Full Sail scholarship funds.

Two Florida high school students seated on stage in front of a gaming monitor with a Full Sail Armada athlete helping them to their right.

The Full Sail University Orlando Health Fortress recently welcomed high school student competitors from around the state of Florida to battle it out for up to $15,000 in Full Sail scholarship funds. The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament launched with the return of TechFest, a career-focused event where Full Sail representatives visited Florida high schools to share information with prospective students about degrees focused on emerging technologies and games, along with highlighting the esports community at Full Sail.

Sixteen TechFest events were hosted at high schools including Miami Southridge, Windermere High School, and Suncoast Polytechnical, giving students the chance to learn more about Full Sail degree programs and the wide array of career opportunities in emerging tech fields like VR/AR, 3D printing, game design and development, cybersecurity, and more. Technology stations allowed students to get hands-on with tech while an esports booth provided a space to ask questions about Armada, Full Sail’s collegiate esports organization.

During TechFest events at Florida high schools, students competed in Super Smash Bros. qualifier rounds to secure a place in the final tournament hosted on the Full Sail campus. Over 170 students from 15 high schools made it through to the invitational final to represent their school and play for first, second, and third-place scholarship prizes.

“Our esports program just started last year. This is our first major tournament that isn’t held at our school and we’re so excited to compete here,” says Daniel Mooney, a geometry teacher and esports sponsor at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton.

With nearly 500 attendees, the invitational saw family, friends, and educators cheering on competitors in a packed venue as they competed in the popular fighting game. “It’s amazing. My kids are getting the chance to see what it takes to run a live event,” says Julius Edwards, a digital media teacher and esports coordinator at Palm Beach Lakeside School. “We partnered with Full Sail for our first year in esports and it’s great to show students there are so many avenues outside of just playing the game.”

Full Sail students and live event crews were able to display the full power of the Fortress by providing high schoolers with a high-level esports production that reflects professional and collegiate levels of play. Full Sail Armada varsity athlete William “ShatteredWing’ Rivera Sanjurjo helped organize the tournament and even casted the event from the main stage alongside guests and students from visiting high schools.

Three scholarships were awarded to the top three competitors – David Krol (Flagler Palm Coast High School) was awarded a $15,000 Full sail scholarship for his first place finish, Franklin Hidalgo (Cypress Creek High School) came in second, receiving a $10,000 scholarship, and Shawn Neal (Bayside High School) was awarded $5,000 in scholarship funds after placing third. All three competitors also received 3D-printed medals and the first-place winner received a shiny trophy, perfect for any high school’s display case.

If you’re interested in learning more about TechFest or hosting an event at your school, contact us via email at [email protected].