Comets smash competition at NACE league

The Comets’ next goal will be winning the Collegiate StarLeague qualifiers to qualify into league play in the next semester.

The UTD Comets “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” team took 1st and 2nd place at the end of the NACE seasonal league in an undefeated run through playoffs.

The Comets took over NACE with two rosters formed from the main team: the Temocs and the Comets. The Temocs were made up of players Balance, Xillion, Akito, Marce and KennyG, while the Comets were made up of Kazma, Koi, Fox, Autonomitts and dezly. While the roster is split out of necessity for the format, head coach and ATEC senior Chaynen “Sun” Casas said that there is no A team or B team.

“I know that’s a big misconception when people outside of UT Dallas or outside of the team see two teams and they assume, ‘oh, one’s A and one’s B and whoever performs better has to be the A team,’” Sun said. “There are two separate teams of equal strength, and all of them together – all 10 of those guys – make up the official roster A team.”

The ultimate winners of NACE, the Comets roster, was formed around mechanical engineering senior Keven “Koi” Nguyen and CS junior Gabriel “Kazma” Hernandez as a rushdown component with their Robin and Rob play. Their counter-picks included computer science junior Sean “Fox” Fox’s Terry, who Kazma said really came into form after the transition to online play during the pandemic.

“I had never really heard of Fox before Wi-Fi, and he’s gotten a lot better since he’s joined. So, it’s been very exciting to watch him grow, and Auto, Marcel and KennyG,” Kazma said. “All of them have recently, at least in our last events, started doing really well.”

Computer science sophomore Marcel “Marce” Hayek and mathematics freshman Kenny “KennyG” Garza are counter-picks on the Temocs’ side of the team, complementing other players by changing up the pace of games with fast-paced Pichu and Greninja action. KennyG was one of the players picked up in the recruitment tournaments earlier this year, and Sun said that his and Marce’s rushdown style complemented the rest of the Temocs’ highly defensive playstyle.

Most of the NACE run mirrored the Rec Readiness tournaments earlier in the semester, with either Marce or Koi singlehandedly wiping out teams every week for the weekly crew battle.

“The first part of the bracket, we’d play brand new schools that have never played before. It’d be one person would go in and sweep their whole team,” Marce said. “A month later, it started getting a little more serious. And even then, it was kind of a wash.”

The Comets’ next goal will be to win the Collegiate StarLeague qualifiers to qualify into league play in the next semester. Sun said that while they’ve had a bumpy start, in the next three qualifiers the team expects to bring their A game to create a Texan grand finals against UT Austin.

“At the end of the day, when all is said and done, if you see us at the top, I don’t think you should be surprised,” Sun said.