By Shem Rivera; April 27, 2021
The CPP Esports Club faced off in a wild card qualifier on April 15 for a chance to compete in an international Red Bull Valorant Collegiate Tournament.
The tournament was open to all CPP students as long as they signed up online before April 15. CPP is one of the 300 universities to be invited to the Red-Bull hosted tournament. The seven CPP teams that competed in the qualifying tournament were: CPP Blue, Retired Old Men, EGR Rejects, GenGJessFanclub, You Funny, team_EmergenC and team_squanchay. The winner would represent CPP and advance to the Southwest regional semi-finals to play against other colleges. As the most experienced CPP Valorant team, CPP Blue were fan favorites from the start of the tournament. One of the team members, Kyle Elder, a graduate student in economics, expressed the team’s confidence heading into the tournament.
“Every time we are in a game, no matter who we are up against, we always feel like we can win”, Elder said. “We have made a lot of progress; we always feel like will figure things out as a team and come out on top.”
The format of the tournament was a best-of-one series to determine who advances to the next round. CPP Blue prevailed as the winners, as they won both of their matches. In their first game against Retired Old Men, CPP Blue fell behind early trailing 0-4, but ended up winning 13-7. In their final match, they won easily with a 13-2 score against the EGR Rejects.
Although most of the team members had competed in past tournaments, the experience was new to second-year biology student Riad Soufi.
“I’ve only been part of the team for a semester, but our team chemistry has been on point,” Soufi said. “At the end of the day, we are all here to just play for fun and we will get better as we progress.”
Mckenna Sainberg, representative for the tournament and a student brand manager at CPP, is ecstatic the university’s involvement in the tournament.
“I think it’s amazing that Red Bull was able to give the opportunity to everyday students who are passionate on what they are doing,” Saiberg said. If CPP Blue would have continued to win qualifying matches against other universities, the team could have had the opportunity to head to the World Finals in Spain and win a grand prize of $24,000. On April 17, CPP lost to UC Irvine in the Regional Semi-Finals. They were defeated in a best-of-three series with scores of 13-8 and 13-7.
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