By Kevin Corella, Dec. 6, 2022
With the World Cup upon us, soccer fans gathered at the Games Room on Friday, Nov. 18, for a friendly-yet-vigorous gaming tournament of “FIFA 20.”
Ten players gathered to battle it out for the chance to win 25 Bronco Bucks. Accounting student Marco Cortez, who became aware of the tournament through the BRIC calendar, took home the championship title.
His interest in the game started with “FIFA 08” on the Nintendo DS.
“I saw that there were tournaments with ‘NBA 2K,’ ‘Smash Bros’ and then I saw ‘FIFA,’ and I said, ‘Why not?’” said Cortez.
After some warmup matches, the tournament commenced in a “knockout stage” tournament where the loser of each match was immediately eliminated. Each winner played another in the next round until the final match where the winner became the tournament champion.
Among the people gathered were players and spectators. Friendly banter was exchanged with both casual and competitive players engaging in the competition.
For aerospace engineering student Angel Rodriguez, this was his first time playing “FIFA” since the semester started.
“I haven’t played in a while,” said Rodriguez. “I feel like I haven’t touched my console since the semester started.”
The tournament began with two quarterfinals, both ending in wins for the emerging finalists through a 4-0 triumph for Cortez and a tough 3-2 victory for Rodriguez. The next two quarterfinals ended up going into overtime.
Just seconds before going to penalties, both Cortez and Rodriguez scored two goals, resulting in a 3-1 score for both games.
Going into the semifinals, Cortez would have to win back-to-back games to go into the final.
He pulled it out of his hat with a tough 2-1 first game win and a smashing 5-1 second game win.
“I don’t think I’m the best,” said Cortez. “My second match got really close. It could’ve gone either way.”
Rodriguez needed only one win to make it in the final and was able to do so by defeating his opponent 1-0.
Spectators and other competitors gathered around the two finalists with excitement for the last match between Rodriguez and Cortez.
Rodriguez and Cortez remained neck-and-neck throughout the first half until Cortez’s attack was able to penetrate the defense and score a goal. Rodriguez tried to come back in the game but with stoppage time left, Cortez ended the match with a great goal off a counterattack.
Cortez came through as the winner with four consecutive wins to the championship.
Damajaha D. Netherly, competitive sports manager of ASI Campus Recreation, affirmed the team’s desires to “tap into those populations that we haven’t reached before,” when asked about the future of esports at the school.
Netherly explained that games chosen for tournaments are chosen based on student feedback, with “FIFA” being a consistent request. With the World Cup right around the corner, Netherly believed it would be a great time to offer this tournament.
“This felt as a great time to offer this tournament at the same time as the World Cup so everyone can be in that same mindset,” said Netherly.
With the popularity of recreational and intramural esports on campus, he said that these competitions will continue into the future.
“We try to do three esports tournaments a semester,” said Netherly.
This year’s “FIFA” tournament was the last of the semester, but Netherly announced that “NBA 2K” and “Rocket League” are being set for next semester.
To learn more about upcoming Campus Recreation events, visit its website and follow their Instagram.
Feature image by Kevin Corella
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