North Texas Daily

UNT esports wins first OP Live Dallas Tournament

UNT esports wins first OP Live Dallas Tournament

UNT esports wins first OP Live Dallas Tournament
September 26
19:01 2018

Last Saturday, the North Texas Overwatch varsity team took 1st place at the first OP Live Dallas Collegiate Overwatch Tournament, a new regional tournament held in the Irving Convention Center. OP Live Dallas is a collaboration tournament hosted by eGency Global and sponsored by SMU Guildhall and the Dallas Fuel.

Sixteen college teams were invited to the event. The Mean Green had to play three teams in the group stages to advance to the quarterfinals. Teams participating in the tournament came from across the country, such as the University of Oklahoma, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University and the University of Mississippi.

North Texas went 2-1 in the group stage losing to Oklahoma in their first match of the day.

“The first set we played was against [Oklahoma] and we lost that, so we had to go undefeated throughout the group stage,” designated OP Live Tournament team captain William Simpson said.

The team went on to win against Ole Miss and Texas Christian. Teams were then seeded into brackets for the quarterfinals, and the Mean Green competed against the University of Texas at Dallas.

“[Sam] Sanchez capitalized on several enabling moments that crippled UTD’s line,” eSports coordinator Dylan Wray said.

The team managed to hold on on defense and defeat the Comets 2-0.

Saturday afternoon, the semifinals were broadcasted on the OPLiveDallas Twitch account. The semifinal match was single elimination with three rounds. North Texas faced Texas Tech, winning 2-0 while showcasing a signature combo played by Will Simpson and Dallin Russle, that allowed UNT to set up perfect plays for their team, according to Wray.

Oklahoma played against Colorado State and managed to reach the finals. After facing Texas Tech, the Mean Green competed against their rivals again. The finals were held at 6:45 p.m. with North Texas against Oklahoma in a best-of-five match.

The Mean Green and Sooners went even, each winning two games, and fought for the control point of the map in game five.

Courtesy Richard Fernandez

“[Oklahoma] was a solid team, our games felt so back and forth with them taking a map then us coming right back and taking a map of our own,” Simpson said.

Game five was close, with Oklahoma taking the first round and North Texas just pulling through to take the second. In the final match, the Mean Green and Sooners were tied 2-2, Matt Harris was able to set up Sanchez’s hero to push Oklahoma off the point to finish the game and allow North Texas to take the win.

“It was a close set,” Carlos Garcia said. “When it ended it was so good when we saw that victory screen.”

North Texas players were invited onstage for the awards ceremony. Justin Rojas of EnVy Gaming and Dallas Fuel players Minseok Son and Hyeon Hwang were present to greet the Mean Green. The Dallas Fuel is an esports team owned by the local Team EnVyUs, headquartered in Dallas.

“Anything can happen,” Robert  Martinez said after the win.

The team received a championship trophy, a jersey, six headsets and a bag of Mav Gaming apparel from OP Live. Players also received a private coaching session on Sunday from Aaron Atkins, head coach for the Dallas Fuel and assistant coaches Justin Conroy and Kyle Souder.

“The team played their hearts out today,” Wray said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them and the work they put into this win. I hope more events like this take place where we are able to bring esports out in the open for our talented students to compete, and our fans a place to rally and cheer on their favorite college.”

The UNT Overwatch varsity team plans to compete in the upcoming Tespa tournament.

Featured Image: Courtesy Richard Fernandez

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Sarah Matthew

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