- Edward Brady
UNT Lol Varsity Gets A Statement Win in Week 3
- By Edward Brady
On February 5th, the UNT Esports League of Legends varsity team arguably had their first real test of the 2022 Collegiate League of Legends season against the 11th ranked UT Arlington and passed with flying colors. Despite the score line stating another 2-0 sweep, this match was an important one for reasons both on and off the rift.
Not only is UT Arlington a fellow Texas school and highly ranked, but their varsity LoL team is coached by a very familiar face for anyone who follows UNT Esports. Their coach is Vi Tran, but if you watched the past few seasons of CLoL, you would have known him as SªvVi. He played jungle for UNT and graduated last semester. With both teams undefeated and looking for another crucial win in the playoff race, this was a very important match.
Game 1 was a strange one, but also very close. UT Arlington threw all 5 bans at PuertoJew. Combining that with the Caitlyn ban from UNT, PuertoJew had to dig very deep in his champion pool. Despite all the bans, they still left Twitch open, and it had the unfortunate side effect of allowing the rest of UNT their comfort picks. Flick got J4 again, Arsenals went back to Gwen, and Rainy picked up Leona.
Getting into the game, for the first time this season UNT would not have a massive level 1 play. That didn’t mean the aggression was toned down though, goodness no. PuertoJew picked up the first of many kills at under 3 minutes. But for the first time this year, someone actually kept up with the aggression. A solo kill from Arsenals was answered by a dive onto mid. The Syndra / Vex matchup was going poorly for Lil Nate as the Syndra began to pick up a few kills. Flick responded by stealing the dragon with a Jarvan flag. The game was dead even for almost its entirety. If UNT ever got a true fight on their terms, it was easy for them to win. PuertoJew would free fire into UTA, Rainy, Lil Nate, and Flick would all combo and lock down their opponent, and Arsenals would shred through the grouped-up team. However, most of UNT’s damage would disappear if PuertoJew was ever caught out early (he dealt 38% of the team’s damage) and with Syndra stuns, Gangplank burst, and Rakan flanks, they had the tools to do so.
Despite the massive amount of kills for both sides, the gold lead hung around only 1-2k for either side. But at the end of the day, PuertoJew was just way too strong and UNT had too many pieces to enable him for UTA to deal with. In the final fight, LiL Nate split up the backline, Rainy and Flick soaked up the damage, Arsenals double killed the frontliners, and PuertoJew picked up a triple kill onto the squishy members. The Twitch ended 18/5/2 with 28.3k damage on the way to victory.
Despite that, the game was close. And that was with UTA playing with a jungle sub! With a smarter draft, their usual starter, and a game to warm up, the next game was sure to be as close, if not a UTA victory, right?
To put it simply, No
UNT were a few sacrificial teleports and a botched fountain dive away from a perfect game. It was complete and utter domination from start to finish. It took UTA almost 22 minutes to pick up a single kill. Flick’s Poppy was everywhere and completely took over the jungle. PuertoJew got a power pick in Jinx and Rainy got his Leona again. Lil Nate got a comfort pick in Akali and ran rampant with it. Arsenals got another AP threat in the Kennen. UTA didn’t take a single tower, herald, or dragon in game 2. UNT looked utterly dominant against an opponent that had matched them blow-for-blow not even 30 minutes ago.
With this 2-0 sweep, UNT remains undefeated and are in prime position to make the playoffs. As long as they win 2 of their next 3, they are in. With all 5 members firing on all cylinders and team synergy looking solid, UNT are looking like true contenders. The aggression was still there despite the higher competition, and it was more refined than the first two games. Things are looking bright for the Mean Green.
The UNT LoL Varsity team will take to the rift again this coming Saturday at 3pm CST. Their opponent is currently unknown. You can catch all of the action on UNT Esports’ very own Twitch channel www.twitch.tv/untesports. You can also get updates on all things UNT Esports on the twitter page twitter.com/UNTEsports. Make sure to cheer on your Mean Green as they look to conquer the South Division of the Collegiate League of Legends Championship!