Baruch College of the City University of New York proved dominant in Collegiate Counterstrike for the second year in a row. How did Toy, food, and the rest of the team pull out another win for the East Coast? Danny "Mahone" Hsieh has some key takeaways from the event.
I don’t think anyone had truly expected VCU to take down the powerhouse in RMU, and this matchup showed just that. Despite VCU getting to pick their strongest map in de_mirage, RMU shut them down with ease with a 16-8 scoreline. RMU carried their momentum into the second map, de_train, and took the series 2-0 with another 16-8 win. VCU has a lot to be proud about especially as this is their second season in collegiate and showed great improvement from last year. Although the main heavy hitters have always been Akathevirus and Chaz, I believe the rest of the squad has great potential moving forward and all they need to do is just grind.
The UCLA and CUNY Baruch match looks super one-sided on paper and pretty much anyone would agree that Baruch was going to take the series 2-0, even UCLA themselves. In my opinion, Baruch showed great signs of weakness leading up to the event, which made me think UCLA has a glimmer of hope. UCLA showed just that as they took first map de_inferno by a close 16-14 scoreline. The second map of de_overpass went the way of Baruch by a score of 16-11, thanks to the great individual plays Baruch was able to make in clutch situations. The final and 3rd map, de_cbble, found UCLA up in a 14-11 scoreline at one point, but they let it slip away as Baruch clawed back with 5 straight rounds to finish it off 16-14. UCLA definitely had the edge the whole series, and they should be proud of the performance they showed given the lack of practice they had. There are some questions about what the UCLA squad will look like next year with some players graduating, but UCLA has always been a solid squad in collegiate CSGO and that makes me think they won’t have any issues next year.
The moment that we had all been waiting for arrived; the final that we had been expecting since the end of the fall season. A returning champion in CUNY Baruch with an arguably upgraded lineup vs the most skilled and well-rounded squads in RMU. The first map started on Nuke, a pick by RMU which ultimately backfired as Baruch came out strong with a 6-9 T side half, and ended up closing it out 16-10 on their CT side. When the second map started on Overpass, RMU was just never able to find their footing and Baruch constantly capitalized on their mistakes with aggressive plays. Baruch won the final map with ease in a 16-9 scoreline and claimed the crown once again; their second collegiate championship in a row.
Oddly, the grand final wasn’t nearly as close as some people were expecting, but the crowd and the 3400+ viewers that tuned in on Twitch were amazing. Every time RMU would convert a round, a huge cheer from the RMU staff and players would roar, and every time Baruch converted a round, a huge cheer would come from the Baruch supporters. It’s truly to beautiful to see how far collegiate CSGO has come. The biggest question that remains this year stems from the fact that RMU had lost to York University in the AVGL finals as well. We all have to wonder what a York University vs CUNY Baruch final would result in, and who the true champion of the collegiate CSGO scene is.