Tespa’s Overwatch Collegiate Championship has been well underway for several months now. Back in January, a crowded field of over 500 participating teams with over 4,500 players began to thin down to the final 16 teams that we had at the start of this past week. On Tuesday and Wednesday, that field thinned down to the final eight teams, set to play one another at a LAN event in Houston, TX. The exact date for the quarterfinals is listed as May 10 on the Tespa website, although no official announcement has been made to confirm this.
Each of these Round of 16 matches had plenty of excitement and standout performances from these college esport athletes. Also, this was being played on the most recent patch, giving fans the earliest possible glimpse of where the meta might be headed. With so little time to prepare and practice on this new meta, these players were stretched and tested, leaving only the best of them in the finals. The following eight players led their teams to victory in the Round of 16 after a grueling tournament and preseason and through several patch changes. They will be playing in an official LAN as a result. Keep these names in mind, it’s likely not the last time they’ll be on display.
Here’s your list of the Top 8 collegiate Overwatch teams making the trip to the @CECESPN.
Congratulations, and we’ll see you in Houston!
— Tespa (@TeamTespa) April 3, 2019
Sody – Grand Canyon 3-2 UC Irvine
In an electric 5-map series against UC Irvine, a powerhouse of collegiate esports, Grand Canyon University came out on top. This, in large part, is due to the standout play from their flex DPS player, Sody. With some clutch shutdowns on Sombra and some excellent survivability on Zarya, Sody was constantly giving the Anteaters fits. Keep an eye on him and the rest of this GCU roster as they continue to play underdog among the final eight teams.
Swish – Harrisburg 3-0 Toronto
In a dominant 3-0 victory over Toronto, Swish had himself a day on the flex DPS role. This match featured a surprising amount of Widowmaker and Ashe and Swish seemed to constantly dominate the matchup versus Benn on the side of Toronto. Teams like Harrisburg, who have already begun to innovate on the newest patch, may have what it takes to throw off their opponents down the stretch. If they can, look to Swish to be a part of that success.
Jacklorf – Carleton 3-1 Ohio State
Captain of Carleton, Jacklorf, had an incredible series on D.Va, in particular. This was as gritty of an Overwatch match as they come and the emotional and mechanical leadership of Carleton’s captain cannot be understated. A lot of that comes from how tight-knit this Carleton team is, as Jacklorf reported in his postgame interview. Time will tell if this communication and synergy can take this team to the finals in Houston.
Abadio – NJIT 3-1 Waterloo
In nearly every teamfight, the Brigitte player from NJIT, Abadio, was setting the tone and forcing the issue. All series long, Abadio was aggressive while simultaneously backing up his teammates. After a certain point, which was especially evident on Watchpoint: Gibraltar, the up-tempo play from Abadio was simply too much for Waterloo and the series was sealed. Look for more aggressive play from this team in the future.
Hypnott – Maryville 3-0 UT Dallas
A name many who follow NA Contenders may already be familiar with, Conor “Hypnott” O’Rourke, is the man of this match and certainly someone to keep an eye on in Houston. Maryville’s main tank played this series with an awareness and game sense that led his team to a 3-0 sweep of Dallas. His experience on Uprising Academy, while minimal, undoubtedly gives him and the entire Maryville team an advantage heading into the final eight.
Coolabc – Utah 3-0 George Mason
This was a fairly dominant 3-0 victory for Utah, in large part because of the cool and collected play of Coolabc. His surprising flexibility between heroes like Wrecking Ball and Mei make him difficult to scout and, apparently, even more difficult to play against. This patch is still largely unsolved, so players like Coolabc may have a distinct edge heading into the finals in Houston. For Utah’s sake, they are hoping this unpredictability can take them all the way.
Slayergramps – Orange Coast College 3-1 Kennesaw State
The lighthearted and well-spoken flex DPS of Orange Coast College, Slayergramps was the player of the match. Not only does Slayergramps have an incredible battletag, he also has an incredibly deep hero pool and seems to be a natural leader for his team. The win over KSU did not come all that easy for this team; however, the ability to flex and perform on heroes like Tracer and Bastion allowed Slayergrams and OCC to pull out the victory regardless.
chknNwaffles Rutgers 3-0 Arizona State
After an incredible winning streak, our very own Scarlet Knights are headed to Houston to play Top 8 in the @TeamTespa Overwatch Collegiate Championship! Congratulations, lads! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/4FgdysbMaf
— Rutgers Esports 🔜 Scarlet Classic V (@RutgersEsports) April 3, 2019
Hitscan DPS and team captain, chknNwaffles, is certainly someone to keep an eye on for the Scarlet Knights. However, there is hardly one player from this team that deserves praise over another. They are a complete unit with a tenured history and lots of proven talent. While the match was played off stream, beating ASU 3-0 is an incredibly impressive feat, as they were a team many could have seen making a finals run as well. Rutgers is the last team in the pool with LAN history, will that experience give them an edge?
Collegiate Overwatch has been slowly gaining more and more notoriety as it’s formed its identity through Tespa, and now through its official partnership with ESPN. Keep an eye on how this affects the traditional Path to Pro in the coming years, especially considering the number of these players that will be gaining LAN experience through the process. However you slice it, the future looks bright for collegiate Overwatch and certainly for these eight players. All eyes will be on them on May 10, when the action resumes with the quarterfinals. Keep up with all the latest on collegiate esports through Tespa’s Twitter page as well as the ESPN Collegiate Esports Championship Twitter.
Follow me on Twitter: @GoopyKnoopy I would love to dialogue with you about anything I’ve written!
You can also shoot me a line on Discord! (GoopyKnoopy#2205)
Featured Image Courtesy of Tespa
Follow The Game Haus for more sports and esports coverage.
“From Our Haus to Yours”