This past weekend the Drury eSports Club participated in their first official tournament, the Tespa OTG Skirmish. Six talented players of our club joined the tournament under the team name “Slunderdogs” with hopes of achieving glory. The Slunderdogs were faced with challenges, tough opponents, victories, and losses, but never the less they persevered through it with confidence and a good attitude. The OTG Skirmish Tournament was composed of three rounds, with each round consisting of three matches. The team who won the best out of those matches would win the round, and at least two rounds needed to be won in order for a team to advance to the next bracket. Here is an overview of the Slunderdogs’ performance.
ROUND 1: Slunderdogs vs. West Kentucky University: 2 – 0
For their first round, the Drury University Slunderdogs went up against West Kentucky University in a series of Escort maps. Although the Slunderdogs were pumped and ready for any challenge, it didn’t take long for them to realize that they were up against a well-matched opponent! Kentucky brought a strong defense during the match, including a fast-moving soldier with good aim and a Reinhart and Zarya combo who easily shielded their entire team. This caused problems for the Slunderdogs and resulted in failure to capture the first objective. With the Slunderdogs now on the Defense, they knew they couldn’t afford to let Kentucky get near the objective at any cost – they needed to keep on the objective at all times. With a new strategy in mind, the Slunderdogs managed to contest Kentucky for the entire match and prevent them from making progress on the objective. This is due in part to Andrew Snyder and Dane Wommack, who played Mercy and Symmetra respectively, doing an excellent job at keeping the Slunderdogs healed and keeping Kentucky from advancing. This resulted in a victory for the Slunderdogs and led them into the next match at an advantage. For the second match on Eichenwalde, West Kentucky started out on attack with a solid team composition that made them tough to push through. The Slunderdogs were able to face off with them pretty well but ran into problems taking out a sharp-shooting Mcree, who was skilled in hiding himself from enemy sights. They were able to get past the first objective and push the payload to right before the second checkpoint. The enemy team had gotten pretty far, so the Slunderdogs knew it was going to be a long, hard journey to get as far as them. The Slunderdogs were doing pretty well until they got held up at a choke point right before the bridge past the first objective: players were picked and Ultimates were used but they could not push through. However, luck was on their side when a Graviton Surge – Pulse Bomb combo cleared most of the enemy team off of the payload, followed by a Resurrection from Andrew that brought the team back to life. This led the Slunderdogs forward and well past the second objective, resulting in another victory and winning the first round of the tournament.
ROUND 2: Slunderdogs vs. Miami University of Ohio: 0 – 2
In the Slunderdogs’ second round, they faced off against the high-ranked MUO team. The Slunderdogs were primed and ready to fight for these matches, but unfortunately they were unable to overcome MUO’s strategies and team composition. MUO did an excellent job at staying close together – and alive – while taking out any opposition that was in their line of sight. This is notably because of their McCree, who did an excellent job at picking people off. This resulted in a loss for the Slunderdogs 0 – 2, placing them with 1 of the required 2 wins to advance to the next bracket.
ROUND 3: Slunderdogs vs. Miami Dade College: 2 – 1
The final round of the Skirmish Tournament brought upon the Slunderdogs’ toughest challenge yet. They had lost 1 – 3 in the first match at Nepal, but made a surprise comeback on Ilios during the second match, where they utilized their “dive comp” to win 3 – 0. This 1 – 1 score led to a tiebreaker round on Watchpoint: Gibraltar with high stakes. The Slunderdogs knew this would be their only shot at victory: they needed to win one more round, and to win it they had to win just one more match. Shots were fired and ultimates were used as both teams put up an extremely good fight. The Slunderdogs started on the attack, pushing the payload all the way to just before the second checkpoint. On the defense, the Slunderdogs managed to hold off MDC for the majority of the match – and well into overtime. In an intense 2-minute overtime battle between the two teams, the Slunderdogs managed to clear the payload in a breakthrough push that won them the match and the round, securing their spot in the Elimination Tournament.
ELIMINATION ROUND 1: Slunderdogs vs. John Hopkins University: 0 – 2
The mood was right and the energy was high for the Slunderdogs as they moved on to the first round of the Elimination bracket. Unike the previous bracket, if they lost only a single round then they would be eliminated from the tournament. Both teams put up a good fight, but in the end JHU was able to counter the Slunderdogs around every turn. This unfortunately resulted in a loss for the Slunderdogs, eliminating them from the tournament.
Overall, this tournament proved to be a very successful one for the Drury eSports Club. Being the club’s first tournament, the Slunderdogs did not anticipate getting as far as they did and managed to prove that they were better than they thought. Most importantly, they were able to grow together as a team, learning valuable lessons, strategies, and ideas that will be used to move them further during their next tournament. We congratulate our team for getting the tournament season off to a great start and showing good signs for things to come. As always, we send our best regards to all the colleges and universities we went up against: we are glad to have gone up against such skilled opponents and wish you all luck for the rest of the tournament season.
-Bijan Pourmand, Secretary of the DUeSports Club