By: Anthony Bussing
Located in Shipman Library, the Adrian College Esports program potentially has as many noise complaints as victories under their belts this season as the halfway point of fall semester passes with a team undefeated up to week four and great performances all around otherwise.
New to this year is the program director and coach, Vinnie Granato and this season sees a regular schedule of weekly matches with at least one match every weekday. Monday and Tuesday nights are “Rocket League” matches, Wednesdays for “Call Of Duty,” Thursdays for “Valorant” and Fridays for “Rainbow 6 Siege,” “League Of Legends” and “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” matches.
The majority of ACE teams are competing in the MIAA league this season as well as NACE and NECC divisions. Further, the program is looking to compete in GLEC divisions in future seasons.
“Rocket League” team is crushing the competition in NECC matches, with a season record of 5-1 in week six. NACE matches though haven’t seen as many performances this season, only coming into week four and with a less confident but still impressive record of 3-1.
Brandon Huiser is a member of the ACE program “Rocket League” team and also plays on the D3 men’s hockey team as an undergraduate freshman, known on the “Rocket League” team as “Hokey34Goalie.” “So far this season has been enjoyable not only playing with great teammates but also in good competition pushing me to perform at my best ability,” said Hiuser, “Playing under NACE has brought many challenges from playing great teams to performance issues from myself. Other than these challenges, I feel as though the competition overall has been great and all the games so far have been close.”
Starting their season latest in the program, the “Valorant” team debuted their first match on Oct. 7 and brought down Southern State Community College, starting off with a 2-0 score victory. The potential streak was shut down in the next game though, by Minnesota State University, Mankato. ACE “Valorant” team now heads into season week four 1-1, excluding an opponent forfeit in week three, the “Valorant” team still finding their rankings this season.
“COD” team has the earliest starting season of the program this semester, with seven weeks of matches played by now. ACE broke an unsuccessful streak with consecutive wins on weeks’ four and five matches, but ultimately lost the proceeding match, week six, against Minnesota State, whose “Valorant” team was who bested ACE. “COD” team picked up another win in week seven, making a season record of 3-4 so far.
As of week four, “R6S” team was only able to succeed in one match, though it’s been a harshly close call for most games, as the team wraps up this season and prepares for the next competitive season’s first game, on Nov. 5.
“CS:GO” team has two victories so far this season, Michigan State University and Purdue University, though has only played three matches this season.
ACE’s “LOL” team is dominating this season, going into week five with an outstanding 4-0 record. “After about the 3rd week or so, I would say we finally got the hang of this whole team thing,” said Connor Hagans, a senior student and member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, known on the “LOL” team as “chagans.”
“Chagans” described that they’ve never participated in an organized team until now, and prefers the challenge of the new setting, as the team even participates in scrimmages with other teams in between weekly season matches during practice and review sessions.
“Being put into a team environment and being challenged to grow as a player individually and as a team member everyday has greatly shifted my perspective on the game. Just loading into a regular game is different now, and I know it sounds so cliche, but I just get very immersed with the team aspect in full effect here at ACE. I can already noticeably tell my areas of improvement, whereas before I just played for fun. So this has opened up essentially a whole new game for me, as it’s nothing like what I used to be playing, this is so much more enjoyable.”
ACE program is exploring possibilities for streaming-station infrastructure as well as regular casters for current and future seasons. Schedules and stream links for ACE games this season can be found on the AC athletics’ website and the program’s social media.