Even the best players in the world are going to feel the weight of stress, even if they’re some of the best at what they do. The higher-ups behind The Big House, a Super Smash Bros. tournament that takes place in Detroit every year, have hired to have five therapy dogs available for the players before and after their matches.
The idea came from Laura Rall, a student attending the University of Michigan, earning her master’s degree in social work. She volunteered as The Big House tournament and came about the idea due to her personal experiences working with therapy dogs. She spoke about her experiences, and how she came up with the idea, to Eurogamer.
“A few months back I was discussing with a friend who competitively plays Melee about performance anxiety, and I jokingly mentioned therapy dogs coming to tournaments since the friend loved dogs,” Rall told Eurogamer during the interview. “When I described why I thought therapy dogs would be beneficial, they were very into it and volunteers signed up immediately!”
Rall wants players to handle the stress of playing a game competitively, and to help those who suffer the feeling of loss when it comes down to it.
As of right now, the tournament does not have any details about the therapy dogs wholly finalized. Rall and those behind The Big House have time since the tournament kicks off in October. Rall may even have the opportunity to get a few therapy dogs available for attendees who suffer anxiety from large crowds, or something happens during the event.
Once those details are ironed out, the therapy dogs are going to be ready to go making sure everyone has a fun time at the event in Detroit. The event happens from Oct. 4 to the 6. You check out some more details about the event at this link. You can grab hotel reservations, apply as a vendor, apply to volunteer at the event like Rall, or visit the tournament’s official website for any further questions.