CPP students gather around for a competitive NBA 2K esports tournament

By Luis Azuara, Apr. 26,2022

On Friday, April 22, CPP students gathered in the Games Room for an entertaining and competitive NBA 2K tournament.

Like the NCAA basketball tournament March Madness, the event was single elimination winner moves on competition. The tournament hosted nine players with the games set up with two-minute quarters for a chance to win $25 in Bronco Bucks and the right to call themselves, as expressed by economics student Scott Barns, an NBA 2K champion.

For civil engineering student Ryan Briegel, whose last time playing was two years ago, the tournament was just for fun. Briegel heard of the tournament via email and thought it would be fun to join and to experience the Games Room for the first time.

“I thought I was going to lose badly the first round,” said Briegel. “I’m happy I was able to win one game.”

After a brief technical issue, the first round of the tournament was full of action. With a blowout win, aerospace engineering student Jacob Gomez was able to advance to the next round.

In another bracket, Briegel’s first round matchup was close heading into the third quarter. After a hard fought fourth, Briegel was able to pull off a big win and advance to the next round.

As the tournament continued, games were getting more intense and thrilling. Spectators and players started gathering around the players for the semifinals. With a huge win by Barns, the winner between Briegel and Gomez would face off against Barns.

With five seconds left of Briegel and Gomez’s game, Gomez took the lead. Spectators were on their toes as Briegel had the last possession. Within seconds, Gomez was able to make a huge stop with a block to win the game.

“My palms were sweating the whole time,” said Gomez “I really thought he was going to make the last shot to win.”

For the final match, Barns and Gomez went head-to-head for four-minute quarters. Gomez put up a fight, but Barns’ game was just too powerful to overcome, resulting in a victory for Barns.

Gomez had high expectations for himself in the competition. Having played NBA 2K for years, Gomez felt like he should’ve won the tournament.

Basketball is traditionally an intramural competitive sport, and this tournament was the first this semester to focus on a sports video game. Competitive Sports Manager of ASI Campus Recreation Agon Abazi explained how ASI’s commitment to continue to host non-traditional intramural sports such as esports tournaments is a goal of theirs, as it helps students participate in a wide range of activities.

“With intramural sports, we run a lot of traditional sports such as basketball, flag football, volleyball, etc. But with these esports tournaments, we really try to reach a broader audience that is into gaming and wants to participate in intramural sports,” said Abazi.

ASI will be hosting a FIFA 22 tournament on Friday, April 29. To learn more about upcoming events, visit ASI CPP Campus Recreation.

Featured image by Luis Azuara.

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