Bronco Esports’ varsity Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team, COVID Poly Pomona, played their first and only match of the conference championship on April 3 against Colorado School of Mines, receiving their first series loss of the season.
The team played CSM during week one of the regular season and CPP won 2-1, but they were unable to yield similar results this time around. Map one played on Inferno, CPP’s pick, ended with a score of 16-11 in CSM’s favor. Map two played on Dust Two, CSM’s pick, resulted in a score of 16-6 in CPP’s favor. Finally, map three played on Vertigo, decider pick, concluded with a score of 16-11 with CSM remaining victorious.
This was a loss that Bronco Esports was hoping they could avoid seeing as they had played CSM before and were familiar with their past play styles. However, CSM took CPP by surprise, making improvements they had made since they had been pitted against each other the first time.
“We couldn’t abuse little holes in their defense like we did last time,” said Jason Kison, a computer science and chemical engineering student and captain of the team. “I couldn’t just run at them. We had to respect each other, and they were just better than they were last time.”
On map one, CPP started on the terrorist side because they had lost the knife round. After round 12, the team ended up losing five rounds in a row which set them back more. Kison felt that the team should have won this series and was disappointed that they were not winning their individual duels and could not hold any bomb sites on map one.
Map two was a turning point for CPP. They started on the counter-terrorist side and after round seven, they ended up winning eight rounds in a row.
The Broncos were able to play a lot more casually this map because, according to Jacob Payne, a physics student and player on the team, CSM did not take them seriously at the start of that map, so the Broncos were able to take advantage.
“We were able to get some momentum going on the counter-terrorist side, and I think because they weren’t so prepared for Dust Two, we were able to just carry those first couple of round wins into a map win,” said Payne. “We didn’t prepare for Dust Two specifically. We just got some good rounds going our way on counter-terrorist side.”
Map three on Vertigo was one where frustrations were high. CPP started off on the terrorist side and lost the first four rounds before they got a win. They were also unable to establish a clear strategy throughout the first half of the map.
“We just were not coordinated,” said Brian Nguyen, a mechanical engineering student and player on the team. “We lost so many rounds in a row doing the same thing that we were trying to avoid, and it just costed us so many rounds.”
COVID Poly Pomona did not win the western conference championship, but because they had placed first in their conference during the regular season, they received an automatic spot in playoffs. The playoffs were played in a double elimination format.
The Broncos played their first match of the playoffs on April 5, against Mississippi State University and fell short 2-0. Their second match was on April 7, against Michigan Technological University where CPP lost 2-0 ending their time in the NACE Starleague.
Bronco Esports will be gearing up next for the Highlander Con 2022 CS:GO Tournament online qualifiers, held from April 16-17, hosted by UC Riverside. Additionally, many members from CPP’s CS:GO team will be participating in a 2vs2 CS:GO tournament held at the Bronco Esports Spring 2022 FragFest, on April 22. The tournament is open to anyone on the West Coast, and those who are interested in playing may join through the Bronco Esports Discord or the Frag Fest sign up page.