We are heading into the final bracket of the Paladins AVGL Collegiate Chamionship! The top 2 teams from each division have been determined through their Round Robin pools, and now these eight teams fight for the chance to go play on LAN at HiRez Studios on April 9th. On Sunday, March 26 at 6pm EDT, an eight-man single elimination bracket will play out until two teams remain.
Northeastern University (3-3) vs. Penn College of Technology (3-2)
Final Score: 2-0 to Penn College of Technology.
The first game was played on Stone Keep. Northeastern brought an interesting draft to the game that included a Skye and a Fernando, while Penn Tech’s draft was a bit more normal. Penn Tech secured the first point with relative ease and pushed it quickly to secure the second point. They only suffered one death on the team in the first push. Northeastern was able to better contest the second point, nearly securing it for themselves, but Penn Tech reengaged after their members respawned for the payload secure. The second push was as fast as the first, and Penn Tech secured the game 4-0. The damage output by GUUNZ (PCT, Viktor) and WhoisCarter (PCT, Tyra) especially overwhelmed Northeastern, each having over 30 eliminations and more than double the damage of any member on the opposing team.
Timber Mill was the second map selection for this set. Penn Tech took an early first point after steamrolling over Northeastern’s defenses on the point. Northeastern was able to prevent Penn Tech from pushing the payload in for a while by continuously sacrificing teammates, but eventually Penn Tech got their second point with twenty-five kills and zero deaths to their name. For the second time in the game, Northeastern reached the point first, and for the second time this game, Penn Tech wiped their opponents and zoned them off without a death. WhoisCarter (Androxus) finally fell as the last push closed, ending the game as the only death on his team. Despite the 240k shielding done by Northeastern, they seemed to have a little bit of trouble with coordination, and they could not withstand the control and damage put out by Penn Tech.
The top two seeds from each division have been determined! The teams that still have a chance to make it to the LAN Finals at HiRez Studios on April 9th are displayed below. A (1) following the team’s name means they finished their Round Robin pool as first seed, and a (2) means the team finished second in their division.
Jaguar Falls Division: Davenport University (1), Sheridan College (2)
Serpent Beach Division: Rowan University (1), Stony Brook University (2)
Frozen Guard Division: Concordia University (1), Bloomsburg University (2)
Stone Keep Division: Clark College (1), University of Texas (2)
With fewer teams in the running for the grand prize, we can dig a little deeper into each team and how they have performed in the last few weeks.
If you have followed the professional Paladins scene recently, most of the names on this team jump right out on the page at you. Evulli and PoWTecH are part of the Astral Authority crew that recently locked up first seed going into the Paladins Masters LAN without dropping a set. W1fL, known for his tanky presence on Team Eager, has seemed to shift to a more damage-oriented role for this team. Grapple also is not a stranger to the professional scene, having been a member of Team AGG until recently. Finally, Alternit works alongside the Team Eager Paladins team, so he has a good amount of experience himself. With this many big names on a single roster, it only makes sense for them to have had the success that they have had. They didn’t drop a single point in their division, and they are looking to keep their scores tidy through the Finals Bracket, as well.
Sheridan got their match with Davenport out of the way early. While they did lose the set spectacularly, they were able to get back on their feet and defeat the rest of the teams in their division without losing momentum. Cliku seems to be one of the main damage players in this team, and his damage output has been fairly consistent in the division stage. Justabanana21 joined Cliku as a damage dealer for most of the division, and ButterBall has leaned towards being a support for his team. Sheridan either made a few swaps on the main roster during the division stages or played with a substitute for at least one of their sets, which may either help or hurt them. If they did make roster and/or role swaps, they need to make sure they can come together in a short time and be well-coordinated for the bracket this weekend.
Rowan is another team that has significant names on it. Shadeeyshades is listed on Eager’s website as “Pure Damage”, and that’s exactly what he’s been bringing to the table. Z1unknown, formerly of Team Eager and now a part of the Panda Global squad, is also a very well-known damage player. They are joined by Fire, Ethereall, and MrHazee, who filled around them in the support and frontline roles. This team seems to find success with and really enjoy team compositions that consist of one support, two frontliners, and two damage dealers/flankers - in fact, every game they played used some variation of this composition. Rowan has shown their prowess in their division by going deathless in two separate games - one against Georgia Gwinnett, and another against Penn Tech. Shadeeyshades managed to be the only one to find deaths in another game, but he pulled off a Quadra kill in the match to make up for it. This team came out of their division swinging, and they want to put out similar results this weekend.
Stony Brook had a solid road to the second seed of the Serpent Beach Division. They dropped a few points in a few of their sets, but they didn’t drop a full game to any team other than Rowan. SlootHole is the dedicated frontliner for the team, with ZoomB6 and Nofoey occasionally swapping out of a damage position and into a more supportive character. Oidly appears to be the only other set role player on his team, consistently going back to the role of a damage/flanker. When Stony Brook played Rowan, they appeared to not be quite on the same level as the titans of the Serpent Beach division - they will need to work hard in the days going into this weekend if they want to really turn heads and change minds.
Concordia is the only first seed to drop a game to another team in their division. Nonetheless, this team isn’t necessarily one to be counted out. They did play very well against the other teams in their division, and they didn’t drop a single point outside of their match with Bloomsburg. This team also gravitates towards the single support, double frontliner, double damage/flanker compositions, similar to Rowan. Wamajama and Time0ver are the two frontliners of the squad, IAmUser plays the healers, and ConmanTheGreat and Velamore round out the roster with the damage characters (and in Conman’s case, specifically Maeve every game). This team comes into the Finals Bracket as an underdog compared to the first seeds from the other divisions, but they have some potential to surprise if their opponents don’t respect them.
Concordia was the only first seeded team to lose a game in their division, and Bloomsburg was the team to prevent the clean sweep. This team had to put up a pretty big fight to secure their second seed, however. They dropped multiple points in their matches against Mississippi State and Florida Gulf Coast, the third and fourth place teams in the Frozen Guard division. Tylerdwarf is the dedicated support player for the squad, while Dragonchao72 and Selachimorph back him up as frontliners. InsaneUrf and GenitalBlocked round out the squad on damage and flank champions, generally performing well in their games. Just as Concordia is the first seed underdog going into the Bracket, Bloomsburg may be the equivalent for the second seeds due to how their division played out. This doesn’t mean they won’t show up and take more games off top seeds, but they will need to make sure their consistency is down pat for Sunday.
Clark College is the third of the first seeded teams to come in to the AVGL with North American pros on their squad. iDropBodies of Astral Authority reprises his role as a damage dealer with the option to flex to other roles, and he continues to do his job well. Thespudz and Forse from Exalted join Bodies on this squad, with Spudz generally gravitating towards tanks and Forse flexing between multiple roles. Monkeymo1234 and SneakyNoodle round out the main roster, adding two more flex picks to the roster. In general, Clark’s roster seems like they are able to better adapt to different situations compared to some of the other teams in this top 8, with the ability to pair different picks with more than one player. This flexibility will be a boon for the team on Sunday when they have to adapt to two different teams in the same day if they want to make it to LAN.
University of Texas looks fairly solid as a team. They lost both games to Clark but managed to keep them both relatively close. They also performed well against Richmond Community College and University of Washington, the third and fourth place teams in their division. SweaterMac is the main frontliner for the squad, with GorboGrandman and eddyword swapping off between frontliners and supports as needed. GoonerButthole and Tchaukovsky are the main damage players for University of Texas, but their true damage numbers only really came out in their challenging set against Clark - the two split a total of 225k damage in the second game of that set. This team has a relatively small sample size for games and is potentially a bit untested, but what data we do have of them shows that they have potential.
by Anthony “Srixis” Tamberrino