- Edward Brady
UNT Esports Rocket League Season Wraps Up
The UNT Esports Rocket League team closed out their Collegiate Rocket League spring season with a 7-8 record, missing the playoffs by one game.
Despite that, UNT has remained a pillar of consistency in CRL play. They are the only school in the nation to qualify for all nine CRL seasons over five years. They have even made two National Championships.
One of the starters, Dylan "dbanq" Windebank, had his thoughts on why UNT has been so consistent. Windebank said, “we’ve been getting lucky with the people that already went to this school and wanted to play. And those people had connections to get other players to UNT.”
This year, the team debuted a new starter to play alongside longtime starters Windebank and Diego "Luciuhh" Aleman: Tre' "TriTone" Benedict. The team got off to a slow start, going 2-3 in their first two weeks.
UNT Rocket League Manager Seth Dunnam expected this and worked with the roster to fix the issues. When it comes to integrating a new player, Dunnam said “we slowly migrated him into the roster and adapted to how he played, as he adapted to the higher level of play.”
As the team got more comfortable with Benedict, they started picking up more wins. The team is pleased about their progress and improvement. Windebank stated that “Tritone is improving quite quickly compared to anyone I’ve seen play on the roster.”
For context, Windebank has been a starter since 2018 and was a key part of UNT’s two National Championship appearances.
However, the late-season improvements would not be enough to lock down a playoff berth. Close games were UNT’s kryptonite. Despite only being swept once, (tied for fewest of any team in the conference with a loss) five of their eight losses came in five-game series. This includes taking undefeated #1 Colombia to the brink, the only team in the conference to do so.
Despite the losses, the team bounced back from them time and time again. Aleman stated, “You can’t have a mentality of letting a loss stick with you for a week. Especially in collegiate Rocket League where you have games almost every other day.”
And given their growth, the team is optimistic about their future. Dunnam believes, “the team will do even better next season. The boys are becoming more familiar with each other and they’re improving day by day.”
The UNT Rocket League team still has an outside chance to qualify for the first-ever CRL World Championship by winning the North American Last Chance Qualifier that will take place in May.