For most people, the 12th of March was just another Sunday. For a group of certain individuals, however, it was a chance for lasting and eternal glory. Well, more like temporary happiness for a few days, but hey, we all have to take what we can get.
This Sunday, an eSports tournament was held between talented players from Imperial College and UCL. Five games, two universities but only one trophy to be claimed by the ultimate winner. The trophy was big enough that I could hold it in the palm of my hand; a clear indication of the fact that the organisers went all out on this tournament.
Speaking of organisers, this tournament wasn’t organised by any large groups like Varsity Games, but rather by the eSports societies of both universities. It was also held at Meltdown, a well known eSports bar in London, which conveniently has all the setup and equipment needed for a big tournament. Despite the small scale nature of the event, at least 80 people showed up, either to compete or cheer their friends on.
Before the games could begin however, there were a multitude of server and other technical issues that needed addressing. If you try and organise any games tournament, that’s just a given thing you need to deal with. It took a while but they were finally sorted out and the games could begin, albeit slightly delayed.
The games played were Starcraft, Hearthstone, Defence of the Ancients, Counter-Strike and League of Legends. The overall gist was that the University that won the most games would be crowned the victor. Simple enough, and Imperial College was able to win the Starcraft match with relative ease (dat library broadband). It seemed as though the DOTA match would follow suit as Imperial were able to achieve an impressive win for the first match. However, their streak didn’t last for DOTA and UCL were able to inch ahead and win the DOTA game.
Hearthstone was next, a freemium and highly addictive online card game that anyone can play. This time the match was very, very close and it went all the way down to the last game where, unfortunately for us, UCL were able to steal the victory.
As the day gave way to the night, things started looking grim for Imperial; UCL had more victories and it was rumoured that in the upcoming match of Counter-Strike, the UCL team were going to dominate. It was a long wait for the computers to get running properly for CS:GO but once they were up and running, the games began. The Imperial team were actually able to hold their ground and were consistently ahead of UCL; in fact they won the first set of matches. In the second set, UCL started to gain the upper hand but Imperial refused to go down and were able to get in some wins. Eventually, even though UCL won the second match, Imperial managed to snatch enough victories overall that, to everyone’s surprise they were declared the victors of the Counter-Strike varsity.
Almost poetically, it came down to a classic game, League of Legends, to determine the ultimate winner of the tournament. Things had to be set up quickly as it was late in the night by then and Meltdown was to close in a few hours. The League matches began with intense action right from the start and overhead commentary added to the mood and atmosphere. It was brutal and tense but eventually, the Imperial team were able to plough ahead and win the match, and the tournament. So we are literally better than UCL. Fuck you QS rankings.
But are we though? According to reports, the UCL team had technical issues with their headsets so they couldn’t properly communicate and work together. In light of this, a rematch of League of Legends will be held for fun on the 8th of April, which you can live stream from Imperial Esports’ twitch stream account. So look out for that for that final confrontation.
Overall, the tournament was a massive success and a great way of bringing people together for games, drinks and banter. Another one is planned for next year so hopefully this will become a regular thing and get bigger and better with each repeat. A final round of congratulations should go to both the eSports societies and the players for their efforts and victories.