By Shem Rivera; May 4, 2021
Bronco Esports’ Counter Strike: Global Offensive team fell short against New York’s Rochester Institute of Technology in the Grand Finals of the annual Challenger Division Playoffs on April 25, losing two out of three games in heartbreaking fashion.
In game one, the teams played on Overpass, a map CPP’s team is known to win, but lost 16-8. In game two, CPP won a nail-biter in overtime, winning 19-17 on the map Inferno. Game three was do-or-die, but CPP lost 22-18 in a match that stretched into double overtime.
“I learned that our team was not as invincible as it seemed,” said team player Cody Ngo, a first-year electrical engineering student. “I was so confident and felt like no one could be us, but after the finals I realized our communication skills and mental game as a team are something we need to work on.”
This was Ngo’s first time on an esports team and plans to use the tournament loss as a learning experience to improve his play and communication.
To win a game, the first team needed to win 16 out of the 30 rounds. If overtime occurred, there were six extra rounds. Each team plays the terrorists and the counter-terrorists. The terrorists plant a bomb, and the counter-terrorists must stop them from planting. Teams of seven competed in a best-of-three series to determine the winner.
Jason Kison, a second-year chemical engineering student and team captain of the team, felt the team would have won if not for a few mishaps.
“For game three in the second overtime, one of our players had to leave in the middle of it due to personal reasons and we were at a disadvantage,” Kison said. “It was not his fault at all, but it did affect the team mentally since it was the final game.”
Although the league allowed substitutions, one of its rules stated that players may not be substituted during a match, only in between matches.
CPP was previously undefeated in the tournament, winning three games prior to the finals. Out of the 16 teams that competed in the tournament, CPP was the second seed and RIT was the first.
Regardless of the outcome, the players were proud of how far the team was able to make it and will use this experience to come back stronger next season in October. Although Alex Chang (’20, computer information systems) graduated last semester, the league allowed him to continue to participate since he was part of the team when the season began. Chang sees the tournament as a positive experience despite the loss.
“It was a disappointing loss, but you cannot win everything,” Chang said. “They are a great group of guys who I learned a lot from, and this loss does not dampen my experience with them. Losing is a winning experience, I know these guys will take this loss and use it to get better for next season.”
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