Sac State takes first in ECAC Valorant championships: E-Swarm Report

Smash Ultimate cements third place finish after opponents forfeit


Colby Case

Each week, The State Hornet will recap all the action from Sac State’s esports games.

Colby Case


Eastern College Athletic Conference

The Sac State Valorant team ended its hard-fought season victorious, winning the ECAC finals match against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2-1, on Tuesday. 

“As a club we really wanted to win this cause getting first place in a conference is huge, and we went up against schools who have full programs,” said team coach Nick “Draagslap” Palsgaard over Discord, adding that the team hopes the victory shows that Sac State needs to build a full esports program. “Also we got second last semester, so we wanted to get first real bad.”

While the team gets no prize money for the win, the team does get medals and a trophy, according to Palsgaard.

The first game, on the map Ascent, was gone in a muzzle flash, with the Hornets taking an early lead and dominating the map. Early rotations to bomb sites coupled with challenging the middle of the map cut off RPI’s attacks before they started. This forced RPI to engage and try to plant when at a clear disadvantage, destroying their momentum. Eventually, RPI won a round, but at that point, the Hornets had won 11 rounds in a row. The game ended 13-1.

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute pushes into the A bomb site but is denied by the counter push from mid in the first game of the finals Tuesday, April 27, 2021. Disorganized plays and passive control of mid from RPI let the Hornets dominate, using openings to divide and conquer. Video courtesy of ECAC Esports.

A very different second game, on the map Bind, saw RPI make a comeback with a vengeance. RPI switched it up, deciding they’d take the fight to the Hornets. Even with the Hornets winning the economy-boosting pistol rounds rocketing ahead, they only made it to round eight before an RPI onslaught caught up to them. RPI proceeded to win five back-to-back rounds, catching them up and throwing the Hornets into round trading. While RPI lost a couple more rounds, they kept their heads and pulled out a 13-11 win against the Hornets.

“After that second game, going into third, honestly all of us were kind of tilted,” said Abel “abeL” Sy. “We didn’t know how we were gonna play that because I think we weren’t planning on a third map, and in my head the only way we lose is going into that third map.”

With the teams tied, the deciding game headed to the map Split, with a roaring chat cheering the Hornets on. 

Sac State supporters flooded the chat with “SPAM THIS PLATE FOR SAC STATE” with emoji plates in between the words.

“If last game showed us anything, it shows these two teams are neck and neck,” shoutcaster Tristen Menendez said, excitedly guessing the outcome. 

Though the Hornets took the first round, they immediately dropped the ball on defense, losing seven rounds in a row before dialing in RPI’s tactics, pivoting and then catching up. The Hornets started trading three rounds for every one that RPI took before the Hornets flew past. 

Exploiting RPI’s passive middle control and apparent inflexibility, the Hornets collapsed on RPI over and over to win the game 13-9 and the set 2-1, making the Hornets the winners of the ECAC Valorant season.

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The Hornets double up in a corner and playto advantages gleaned in previous games and rounds during game three of the finals Tuesday, April 27, 2021. Though both Hornets go down, they buy enough time for the spike to detonate, winning the round and cementing their lead. Video courtesy of ECAC Esports.

“The last eight rounds was some of the most intense Valorant I’ve ever played in my life probably,” Elijah “trippy” Arcelona said in an ECAC interview. 

Two of the Hornet team members are graduating this semester, so the team signed up for two more tournaments, the Red Bull Campus Clutch and CSU clash for May and early summer respectively.

“It was kinda cool to end on this first place win, on a high note, at the end of our season,” Sy said. ”We want to play as a team for as long as possible.”

New England Collegiate Conference

The NECC Gold Valorant team lost 2-0 to California State University Dominguez Hills and was bounced out of the semifinals Thursday. 

The first game, on the map Icebox, was a complete rout, with the Gold team losing 13-3. While the second game was a much closer 13-9, the Toros pulled away from the round trading with their more accurate shots, often landing the important headshots quicker.

With Gold’s loss and Green’s elimination April 17, Sac State is finished with NECC play for the rest of the season.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

While the Sac State Green Super Smash Bros. Ultimate team was supposed to smash for third place in the ECAC, the team’s opponents, the 7-1 season record Farmingdale State College, forfeited, handing Sac State the third place spot for free Monday.

“I felt we did good in the playoffs,” said Dominik “sora” Ortiz over Discord. 

The Green and Gold Smash Ultimate teams will be combined for the Collegiate Esports National Championship taking place Thursday through Sunday. Their first opponents will be the College of Staten Island Dolphins whom the Green team won against in the ECAC season.

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A new tournament for Super Smash Brothers Ultimate is right around the corner, starting Thursday, April 29, 2021. The tournament will consist of colleges from all over the nation playing for the crown of national champion. Image courtesy of CENC.

League of Legends 

MetaShift League

The Sac State Gold team’s (1-5) scheduled opponents, the Baka Collective (3-3), forfeited last minute from a player conflict. 

The substitutes the Baka Collective chose were players that would be in a higher division, said Anthony “Montesquieu” Montes over Discord. The substitutes’ higher rankings caused the Baka Collective to be disqualified, forcing a forfeit. 

“We were going to play them as a scrim, but they were unable to get all five members for the scheduled time, so we didn’t even get to play them,” Montes said.

Their next game will be against the $tonk Squad (1-5) on Sunday. If Sac State wins this matchup, there is a good chance they will make it into the playoffs.