“So, this is what winning feels like.” – Drake Porter, Head Coach of Robert Morris University
This past Saturday, over a thousand attendees set foot in the Southwell Complex at Columbia College for the inaugural Midwest Campus Clash. For those who stayed late into the evening, history was made right in front of their eyes as Robert Morris University overcame Maryville University in a heated championship match.
The road to clinching the title and $15,000 prize was not smooth sailing for the Eagles. All of the teams in the competition put up valiant efforts in their runs and showed how strong the level of competition is in the Midwest. Opening round matches started Friday evening. Grand Valley State opened it up with a victory over Michigan while Maryville strolled past host school Columbia College. Robert Morris wrapped up the night with a solid victory over Kansas.
The next morning, teams began to fall. Illinois was the first, forfeiting their match against Columbia College due to not showing up at the event, while Michigan was eliminated after falling in a tight game against Kansas. Next up, Robert Morris and Maryville clinched spots in the semifinals after strolling past Grand Valley State and Ohio State respectively. With the group winners decided, two elimination matches remained to decide each group’s runner-up.
On the main stage, Columbia College put their home crowd in awe as they took an intense game against Ohio State, eliminating all participating Big Ten schools. Simultaneously, Grand Valley State turned an early kill into a huge snowball en route to upsetting Kansas. This set the stage for two incredible Best of 3 semifinal matches: Columbia College vs. Robert Morris and Maryville vs. Grand Valley State.
Immediately following a tremendous performance against Kansas, GVSU took center stage against the titans from Maryville. While momentum was riding high with the Lakers, Maryville’s ADC, Prototype, was not amused. At the end of the first game, Prototype dealt 14.5k more damage than the next closest player as Maryville breezed by GVSU, with the same trend following in Game 2. The Saints punched a ticket to the Finals in solid 2-0 style.
On paper, Robert Morris was the heavy favorite to win the next semifinal. However, if you asked the massive crowd of blue and white who the favorites were, “Let’s go Cougars” chants filled the Southwell Complex. Despite having the majority of onlookers against them, Robert Morris easily prevailed. Game one seemed to be close at times, but there was one factor CC were not accounting for: BUY PINKS’ Kassadin. The RMU mid laner tore the nonexistent front line and squishy back line the Cougars put up, ending the game with an impressive 14/3/3 score line. The following game was not another solo carry performance, but showed how dominant RMU’s team fighting is. In 25 minutes, the Eagles ended the hometown heroes’ run at MWCC.
Exactly two weeks prior to the MWCC Finals, RMU fell to Maryville 3-2 in the uLoL Campus Series North Regional Finals. That was then. MWCC was now. Game 1 started off as expected, two heavyweights trading blows between each other for most of the game. After 37 minutes of intense, calculated gameplay, Maryville’s mid laner, M ckg, made a crucial mistake by getting stunned by an Ashe ultimate. Robert Morris jumped on the opening, eventually acing Maryville after a triple kill from BUY PINKS.
After losing the opening game for his team, M ckg bounced back. The Saints’ mid laner had an unbelievable performance, putting up a 6/3/12 KDA and dealing most damage in the game. This tied the series and set up yet another series that went the distance between the two teams. Unfortunately for Maryville, history was not repeating itself.
Robert Morris looked unbeatable in the final game of the Clash. All three lanes stormed ahead early on in the game, with their jungler, Mordio, leading the way. As the game went on, their chokehold on Maryville grew tighter. By 20 minutes, the Eagles had a 7,000-gold lead. Just five minutes later, the lead grew to 12,000. The RMU coaching staff was awestruck as they watched, with Head Coach Drake Porter even having to leave the venue for a few minutes to take it all in. Upon returning, the team was finishing the most dominant game of the weekend. In mere seconds after the explosion of the Maryville Nexus, the MWCC trophy was hoisted, along with a $15,000 check, for the best team in the Midwest.
With Midwest Campus Clash coming to a close, the next event to look out for takes place May 12-14, the LoL Canadian Invitational in Toronto, Canada, followed by the 2017 League of Legends College Championships in Los Angeles, California starting May 25th. Be sure to relive all the hype of MWCC by checking out the VODs on our YouTube page and keep up with cstarleague.com throughout the week for an exclusive interview with the winners! Also, share your photos and favorite moments of MWCC with George and the rest of the CSL staff on our Twitter and Facebook!
Banner Image courtesy of Demetrius Woodward.