Mar 5, 2021 | SPORTS | By Ian Chalmers | Illustration by Xixi Qin
The Colorado College League of Legends team participated in a scrimmage against Austin College on Feb. 9. Initially, CC was down 1-2 before they, as Riley Williams ’21 described it, “clawed [their] way back to get a victory.”
League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle area where the objective is to eliminate the enemy fort. Players can choose from a diverse set of in-game characters. When playing scrimmages, Williams likes to play as Kassadin, and generally likes to “play characters that do a lot of damage and [are] capable of having influence in winning the game.”
In the past, Williams went to Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, the holy grail for the esports team. There, during SCAC 2019, his team managed to dominate the field, taking first place at the first ever SCAC esports tournament.
SCAC 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19. This is just one of several problems that the pandemic has created for the League of Legends team.
Claire Shin ’22 said that there were also recruitment problems due to the pandemic, and players that were on the winning roster back in 2019 and 2020 are now dispersed across the U.S. and the world.
“We have one player that is in the top 0.9%,” said Williams, who is in the top 2% of all League of Legends players himself.
“We are lucky to have a team right now. We are playing with a roster that is completely brand new,” said Shin.
Both students emphasized that understanding your teammates is crucial to success, and each time a new player is added, the process restarts as they have to understand how the new person plays in order to best utilize their abilities.
One of the team’s support players is currently in China. Another student who was playing on the team had to temporarily drop out as tournament rules require that the students involved in the scrimmages must be full time students, and the student in question took this semester off.
“We had a player that joined last week,” said Shin. “If anyone plays League, they are more than welcome to join.”
Due to the recruitment problems, some veteran players had to switch to other roles in order to maximize the team’s competitiveness. Despite these radical changes, the team still managed to claim victory over Austin College. Other colleges have also had problems.
“I talked to some people from Austin College, and they were having the same recruitment issues we were having,” said Williams. Shin further noted that some colleges cannot compete because they did not have a full roster.
With the COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out, the CC League team hopes they will be able to compete in SCAC 2022 in person and claim victory as they did during SCAC 2019.