The Serenity Strategy Network is hosting a Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament in Edwardsville to raise funds for the Serenity Strategy Network.

SIUE alumni Bryon Pierson Jr., CEO and founder of Serenity Strategy Network, is hosting the event.

Serenity Strategy Network is a company aiming to assist people of color in LGBT communities.

“[Serenity Strategy Network] is a tech company that envisions itself as bettering the LGBTQI community through tech, and we’re creating an access pipeline for people of color in the LGBTQI community to the tech industry,” Pierson said.

The group was founded last year after Pierson tried to get SIUE to adopt his “Serenity Plan,” a proposed overhaul of the way the university manages LGBT students and LGBT student on-campus housing.

One goal of the Serenity Strategy Network is to help fund college for these students.

“We want to give a scholarship to students in the LGBTQI in the tech space,” Pierson said.

Pierson decided on a Smash tournament through market research and also wanted to include something he loved.

“I did six months of market research … and I decided I wanted to do something I grew up with, and I want to do something fun. It was originally going to just be a launch party … then it was like, we can fund our scholarship through this, and then it was, we can show part of [the game we are developing] here,” Pierson said.

Overall, Pierson thinks the Smash tournament is a good idea for his company, and for the competitive Smash environment.

“It’s gonna be a launch party [for our company] … [we talked to people to learn] how to make a good Smash tournament, where Smash players can make money, where it’s a good event … there’s good music, there’s beer,” Pierson said.

Pierson’s goals are to fund his network and also bring good memories of Smash to friends.

“We’re doing this one, to fund the Serenity Strategy Network … and to bring back [our friends who love Smash],” Pierson said.

Former SIUE Early Childhood major, of Collinsville, Illinois Nick Ley is a member of SIUE’s Smash Bros. community, and is planning to attend the event.

Ley plans on attending, not only because he has friends coming to the event, but also because of more sentimental reasons.

“I will be going. One of my friends is gonna be the DJ there … A bunch of my friends are going from STL and around here, and I like playing with them. I had a buddy who died who was a big Smash player and a good friend of mine. We wanted to do a charity tournament for him, but we never had the opportunity. So, any time I can do a charity event I want to do it, just for him,” Ley said.

The Serenity Strategy network is also developing an upcoming mobile game.

SIUE junior music composition major Michael Harding, of Caseyville, Illinois, is the only member of the Serenity Strategy Network currently attending SIUE, and says the network has more planned for later this year, including their game.

“We have some things set up for October, some kind of drag show. My project — my role — is the sound developer for the [mobile] video game we are working on,” Harding said.

Along with being a fundraiser for the network, there is a $100 cash prize for the first-place winner, and other prizes being handed out for second through fifth places.

Named the “Nerdy Super Smash Brothers Tournament,” the tourney will be hosted on Aug. 24 from 3:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Edwardsville American Legion, Post #199.

The tournament will use standard Smash Bros. Melee tournament rules, which can be found at

Tickets are available at the door for $5 for spectators, $10 for spectator t-shirts, and $20 for t-shirt and ticket for tournament players. If you bring your own gaming setup (Gamecube + controllers / CRTV) $3 will be taken off, and dressing in ‘nerdy attire’ will knock an additional $5 off of a ticket.

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