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Millikan’s Astle, Lakewood Team Win First the562.org Long Beach Smash Tournament

The inaugural 562 Long Beach Smash Tournament was held last weekend, with two days of action deciding the city’s best high school individual and team Smash Brothers players. Millikan’s Jed Astle won the individual championship on Saturday and Lakewood’s team of Christopher Cruz, Christopher Sanchez, and John Huff won the team championship on Sunday.

“I’m happy with how it went, we had some hiccups in the registration process but it’s a learning process for next time,” said tournament organizer Drew Helms.

The individual tournament saw 39 gamers going head to head for more than six hours, with Astle going 6-0 while playing with five different characters. Students from Millikan, Lakewood, Wilson, CAMS, McBride, Sato, Poly, and Cabrillo competed for the individual championship.

“I was in disbelief I actually won,” said Astle. “I was very nervous–this was my first tournament and I had no idea how I’d do.”

The team championship was held the next day, with eight teams of three representing Millikan, Lakewood, Poly, Wilson, and CAMS. There were two pools of four teams that had a round robin schedule, with the two pool winners playing each other for the team title. In all, the team championship took more than five hours to complete.

The Rams were expected to come home with a win, with half of the teams in the field consisting of Millikan students, but the Lancers’ trio of Cruz, Sanchez, and Huff came up with the victory. The Lakewood team won their pool by going 3-0 against Poly, Wilson, and CAMS, to set up the championship against Millikan’s Gabriel Mack, Dane Price, and Bryce Hall.

“It felt really good knowing we fought hard for that victory,” said Sanchez.

For the teams that spent the day competing, the action was as intense as any championship decided on hardwood or grass.

“Anyone would be lying if they said they weren’t nervous,” said Cruz. “It was a lot of fun, I can’t wait to do it again.”

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Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.