Travis Dickerson
Mercury Staff

Player ranking requirements increased for upcoming season

With tournaments and skirmishes continuing throughout the
month, including its first tournament out of state, the esports teams are
already planning for the spring semester.

Both teams for “Overwatch” and “League of Legends” have
played locally in tournaments and TESPA events against teams all over the
country. The “League of Legends” teams went to Tulsa, Okla. on Nov. 3 to play
their first out-of-state tournament. The esports teams have also begun the
process of recruiting new players for the spring semester, with tryouts for
“League of Legends” starting Nov. 12.

This season, both “Overwatch” teams scored 6-4 overall, with
highlights including its 2-0 victories against Texas A&M and California-San
Diego at TESPA-hosted events. Both “League of Legends” teams have also had
successes against Texas Tech and Arizona State after they played in a
tournament hosted by Alienware and ranked eighth place. Head coach Greg Adler
said the teams weren’t nervous about moving on to their first in-person
tournaments.

“It’s the same things we’ve been doing — after all, you put
into performance what you put into practice,” Adler said. “The teams are ready
to play the best game they can regardless of who they’re going against.”

In Tulsa. the “League of Legends” A team made it to the
final round, where it ended in second, while the B team made it to third place.
Junior jungler Karlin Oei, who plays under the nickname “Faith,” said the team
had a great start but fell short in the end compared to where they were this
time last year while playing on their own.

“We should always strive to get first in a tournament like
this. We went into the final round a little unprepared,” Oei said. “We’re nowhere
near where we were last year, but we’re definitely getting there.”

Tryouts for the spring semester will be held this week for
“League of Legends.” “Overwatch” tryouts are expected to follow. The current
season required players to be ranked Platinum 1 or higher for “League of
Legends” and Diamond or higher for “Overwatch.” Now, prospective players have
to be ranked Diamond 3 or higher for “League of Legends” and Master or higher
for “Overwatch.” Oei said he is excited about the possibility of adding new
members to the teams and that it will hopefully keep veteran players at the top
of their game.

“It feels kind of stale right now, so maybe mixing things up
will be for the better,” Oei said. “There is a clear best for a certain number
of roles, and then there’s a few roles where it’s up for contention, and it’s
up to those currently in that spot to show why they’re the best.”