Esports team debuts in Collegiate Rocket League tournament qualifiers

The esports team debuted in the Collegiate Rocket League qualifiers but could not clinch a spot in the league’s tournament.

Two qualifier matches, on Sept. 20 and 27, determined which teams move on to the next round of competition, which lead to the playoffs.

More than 750 teams competed during the qualifiers for the Eastern division, including PNW. Only 32 teams qualified for tournament play.

PNW has two Rocket League teams, PNW Black and PNW Gold, that played in the qualifiers. PNW Gold won two games in its series and PNW Black won one.

The Rocket League teams are being led by Mike Krga, who has played since the launch of the game in 2015.

“One thing that I have observed about the team is that the teams have been getting a little bit more confident about their playstyles and rotation,” stated Krga.

During the second weekend of qualifiers, PNW had a rematch with the teams that defeated them in the first round, the University of Maryland, Baltimore and Penn State University. PNW beat them both.

“We definitely improved for the second qualifier,” said Krga. “We didn’t qualify for the playoffs, but we ended up beating against the exact teams that won against us the first time.”

Justin Bragg, head coach of the esports team, takes a hands-on approach when preparing for tournaments like this one.

“For a competition, we go a little more in-depth on the analysis for the teams that we play against, we do this to draft a lineup that can counter what the competing team’s plan is and what they’re good at,” Bragg said.

In the future, the esports team plans to play in other small leagues and tournaments for cash prizes to pay for future upgrades in equipment.

Updates about the esports team can be found on the school’s athletics website, or by following PNW athletics on Twitter, @PNWathletics.