Students battle for prizes, title in KLPI tournament

December 20, 2007

by Heather Small

Students who ventured into the Student Center from noon until 5:30 p.m. last Thursday were surrounded by thunderous rock music coming from the tournament being held inside.

KLPI held their first Guitar Hero contest, “Rock Your Socks Off Guitar Hero Tournament,” which was open to the public. Guitar Hero is a game that uses a controller in the shape of a mini guitar.

Blake Hosli, a general manager of KLPI and a junior mechanical engineering major, said the station held the tournament for several reasons.

“We’re just trying to get our name out there more than anything, and we figured since Guitar Hero is booming in popularity right now, it goes hand-in-hand with the whole music thing,” Hosli said. “So we decided to go ahead and put on a video game tournament.”

Hosli said the tournament was not just for fun. Cash prizes were awarded as well as smaller prizes, which were given to the station by RedOctane.com, the official Guitar Hero online store.
The station’s crew set up several tables that held televisions and PlayStations connected to the mini guitars.

Kevin Mitchell, a freshman electrical engineering major, explained how the game is played.

“There are five buttons on the neck of the guitar and a strum bar and whammy bar,” Mitchell said. “As notes scroll down the screen you have to strum and hold down the button corresponding with the colors on the screen.”

Mitchell also said there is also bonus potential in the game called star power.

“As you hit notes in a hard streak in order without missing [a note] you get double multipliers which give you a higher score,” Mitchell said.

As the tournament continued, many students gathered around the gamers seated at the small televisions while others sat back and watched as students competed on the projection screen over the stage.
Hosli said the winners were determined by double-round elimination.

“It’s a head-to-head competition,” he said. “It’s the best two out of three.”

At 5 p.m., finalists began to emerge from the crowd.

Fourth place was awarded to Daniel Tanielu, a freshman chemical engineering major; third was handed to Brandon Wageman, a junior kinesiology and health promotion major; and second place and a cash prize of $20 went to Anthony Rachal, a former Tech student.
The tournament winner, who was named “Guitar Hero” and recipient of the $100 cash prize, was former Tech student Tim Hockaday.
Hockaday said the tournament was a lot of fun, and the other gamers gave him a challenge. He attributed his win to his childhood.

Hockaday said, “Maybe I just played too many video games.”