Bronco Esports rises to victory in week one of CS:GO NACE Starleague

By Audissey Hernandez, Feb. 8, 2022

On Jan. 28, Cal Poly Pomona’s gaming club, Bronco Esports, came out victorious with a 2-1 win against Colorado School of Mines in week one of the National Association of Collegiate Esports Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Starleague.

This was the Bronco’s first match of the season. The club’s varsity CS:GO will be participating under the team name “COVID Poly Pomona” for the spring semester.

CPP took their pick and played map one on Overpass, falling short at 16-9. Map two was played on Vertigo, CSM’s pick, and CPP won 16-14. Finally, map three took place on Inferno, decider pick which was the last map that was available to play after each team took turns banning and choosing maps. Once again, CPP won with a score of 16-10.

Jason Kison, a computer science and chemical engineering student, captain and returning member of the team, felt that map one was their worst and Inferno was their best.

“Map one for sure was not our best because every single strategy I threw out there, the other team read me like a book, so they just counter-strategized it completely,” stated Kison.

Kison feels that the first map loss could have not been prevented, but if they had practiced more on their default strategies for that map, the team could have had a better chance.

The club’s varsity CS:GO team has been participating in this league for three years and has made it to playoffs every time. The team believes this season will be no different than the last one and members are confident they will keep their streak this year.

“I think we are definitely going to make playoffs at least and I’m pretty confident in that,” said Brian Nguyen, a mechanical engineering student and former junior varsity member of the team.

Nguyen also had a couple clutch moments in the game where he won two 1v3 situations that ended up winning them that round.

Each map follows the classic search-and-destroy mode with one team on the offensive terrorist side and the other on the defensive counter-terrorist side. The terrorist objective is to plant the bomb within the one minute and 55 second window and prevent the opposing side from defusing. The counter-terrorists objective is to defuse the bomb within the 40 second window that begins right when the terrorists plant.

Each series involves a best-of three maps, with each map having a potential of 30 rounds. Sixteen rounds with a tworound lead is required to win.

The NACE divides the league in conferences: Northeast, East, Southeast, Central, Midwest and West. Each conference is made up of 10 teams who play each other once. The top three teams from each conference move on to the pre-playoffs.

The second and third place teams from each conference play each other in the conference play-in. Winners of the conference play-in go against the first place teams that automatically qualify for the conference championship.

The winner of each conference championship along with select runners-up will qualify for playoffs.

To obtain better cohesion, the team plans to practice together more, analyze other teams’ playstyles and conduct team dinners to get to know each other and connect outside of a game context.

“Honestly, I’m really looking forward to just being on the team,” said Jacob Payne, a physics student and new member of the team. “I’ve been playing this game for a little while, but I’ve never been on a structured team. I really look forward to playing with a lot of players who have a lot of talent and I think this could be a step in the right direction of possibly competing in other tournaments later down the line.”

COVID Poly Pomona plays their next series on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. To find out more about the league, schedule and current standings, visit the NACE website.

Featured image courtesy of Jason Kison.

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