Written by Stephanie Fletcher
Edited by Jeff Hanrahan
The Esports and Game Design (EGD) Collective Summer Series started off the weekend with a Valorant 5v5 tournament on Friday, July 10th. Combining realistic aspects of a tactical shooter with magical and futuristic abilities, Valorant provides a unique and engaging play experience. With a $75 prize for the first place team and a $25 prize for the second place team, twelve teams competed in a combination of fun and close matches to see who would come out on top.
On the first level of the tournament bracket, Pray No One DCs vs. Woo Weather was the closest game. Pray No One DCs’ “raw chicken” played Breach and performed well. In the EGD Twitch chat, “jchillincall” joked that “you could say / raw chicken was / nasty” after they got a few kills in round three. Throughout the game there were plenty of “Malistaire” vs. “SwiftLeaves” Sage vs. Sage battles, and “Malistaire” won most of them for Pray No One DCs. Late game, Cypher, played by “TheBatChild,” started stepping it up for Woo Weather. They ended the game with a kill/death/assist count of 24/16/8. Though “SwiftLeaves” found themself at the bottom of the scoreboard when it came to statistics, they were able to plant five spikes, winning Woo Weather five rounds. With everyone playing their best, Woo Weather was able to win the first game and move on to the second level of the bracket.
There were plenty of other valuable players in the first round. “ViSioNKiLleR” went 19/6/3 with two diffuses as Cypher, displaying their ability to remain calm as the last player standing, which helped RIT Orange win their first match. Phoenix, played by “paragon,” was quick on their feet and got eight first bloods and two spike plants, contributing to BMC’s advancement in the tournament.
In the second round of matches there were some upsets. Many of the first round teams could not compare to the teams who received byes. Despite a strong start in their first match, UT Dallas lost terribly against LiViD Gaming. They surrendered when the score was 0-8, refusing to play the game out to 13 rounds. SiN Delta won against RIT Orange with a score of 13-0 as well.
The Goofy Goobers also received a bye, but they quickly realized that they were no match for Woo Weather and played the game for fun. “FART” on Sova tried and failed to land a 360° shot. For “Astro” on Raze, having fun meant securing all of the kills as the last attacker standing. Their teammate “Steel,” who was playing Jett, got most of the kills for the team in previous rounds, however they used their ultimate ability (ulted), ran directly into the enemy team, and died before securing any kills this round. Three other Goofy Goobers followed “Steel” to death. “Astro” killed three, snuck around, picked up an Operator sniper rifle, killed another, ulted, and finally killed his opponent as well as himself, getting a pentakill. That round was the only round won for The Goofy Goobers. Throughout the game, people in the EGD Twitch chat supported the losing team, including “chenguuu” who claimed that they were “by far the superior gamers,” citing playful reasons. However, in the end Woo Weather easily won 13-1.
The third set of matches featured similar games in which the losing teams could not win more than one round. SiN Delta easily defeated Woo Weather 13-0, with every player on SiN Delta performing better than Woo Weather players according to the post-game statistics. SiN Delta’s Sova, “Kayros,” stuck out above their teammates by killing 15 enemies in 13 rounds. In the other game, BMC’s “Forykk” ended one round flawlessly by getting three kills, yet LiViD Gaming stepped it up to win 13-1.
LiViD Gaming and SiN Delta agreed to make the finals a best of three. The scores were nearly even in the first game and the game was tied for five rounds. During late game, the casters constantly referenced the “Cypher chess match” between “fab” on SiN Delta and “Flight in March” on LiViD Gaming. Cypher’s abilities include a camera and a trip wire which can provide valuable information on player’s locations, and the amount of information to process parallels the difficulty of chess. “Deka” on Raze got a lot of kills in the last few rounds and won the game 13-11 for LiViD Gaming. The largest discrepancy was in the second game when the score was 8-4 in favor of SiN Delta. LiViD Gaming’s “Temperature” on Breach won two rounds for their team, but this was not enough. SiN Delta rolled through the rest of the rounds and won 13-7, taking the match to a third game where they maintained their momentum. “Deka” switched back to Raze from Jett hoping to carry the way they did in the first game. “GetGreedy92” who was SiN Delta’s Raze won multiple fights against “Deka” since they took advantage of the map; “GetGreedy92” used the element of surprise through teleporters and took control of the high ground. Their knowledge paired with consistent double kills set their teammate “Kayros” on Sova up to secure the final kill, winning the game 13-9, and therefore the entire tournament.
It is easy to look at shooter games without seeing the person behind the screen. “Kayros” provided a bit of humanity to Valorant in describing how they got into the game. Competing on a team allows players to become friends and “support each other to try to get better together,” creating a positive in-game environment. “Kayros” opened up to say that they “could never do sports because of a heart condition so competing in Esports is a way for [them] to make friends and prove… that [they] can compete” despite being unable to exert themselves physically. Competition is often a healthy way to improve and EGD is offering tournaments all summer to give collegiate players a chance to experience this themselves.
EGD’s Valorant tournament is part of a larger Summer Series. Future tournaments include League Of Legends, Super Smash Bros, Overwatch, and more! Join the EGD Hub on AVGL to sign up, have fun, and win some prizes!