The moment everyone has anxiously been awaiting ever since the end of the Campus Clash Winter Season has finally arrived: the start of Spring Season! Welcome back everyone. Like last season, I (@chroniclercasts) will have the pleasure of bringing you your weekly updates, in case your Monday night isn’t scheduled around watching the Campus Clash.
During the upcoming months, we will witness who will take the crown away from team Underwatch, hailing from the University of York. They won the Winter Season by taking down team Y E E T from Staffordshire University. While this is admittedly speculation, I personally like to imagine that they spent the winter break practicing just to prepare for this moment.Whether or not that is the case remains to be seen, as they were not featured on Week 1 of the Campus Clash.
Instead, we had the pleasure of seeing team BU Esports from Bournemouth University face of against Team Team Name (University of Warwick) in the first best of three.
BU Esports, with their top 5 finish in both Swiss and playoffs last season were the clear favorite coming into the match. On the other hand, team Team Name came in as the relative underdogs, both in terms of individual ranking and as a team within the Campus Clash. Starting off in the South Korea, in the lovely city of Busan, specifically Sanctuary, we witnessed firsthand why BU Esports were able to secure fifth place last season. Running a peculiar composition consisting of a Hanzo (Riz), Ashe (Cloud), Sombra (Blizzardstar) and Wrecking Ball (Goldenfish), with Zenyatta (Strebor) and Mercy (Jamjam56) in the backline. A mere minute had passed before the first team kill bell rang. The backline harass of Blizzardstar who rapidly acquired an EMP, combined with the long range pressure of Ashe and Hanzo and the in-your-face tanking style of Wrecking Ball was simply unmanageable for team Team Name, who ran a standard GOATS composition. Before there was a single moment for Team Name to draw a breath or recuperate, BU Esports was on top of them again, hammering down with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Blizzardstar in particular moved around unpunished, darting in and out with the Sombra and doing enough damage to hit multiple EMP’s. The second round of the control map went exactly the same, as it became clear that it wasn’t just the individual level of play of BU Esports that caused them to win as relentlessly as they did. It was the cohesion with which the team moved when an ultimate was used: the second one of Blizzardstar’s EMPs would go off, the rest of his team was right there with him to capitalize. In the end, Busan ended in a quick 2-0 victory for BU Esports, with Downtown being taken in a similar fashion.
Considering the predicament that they were in and the way that they lost Busan, team Team Name goes for a hail mary play on the second map, Rialto. Although neither team switches up their team composition, the positioning by Team Name on the first point is unorthodox to say the least. Setting up shop just outside of the spawn of their opponents, they try to cut off BU Esports before they can get on the payload and generate tempo. Unfortunately, as ambitious as this plan was, it was not succesful. BU Esports find a way past the initial onslaught, get on the payload, and somehow simultaneously manage to pincer the remaining players for Team Name. The rest of the map continues in a similarly one sided fashion, up until the point when Riz shortly disconnects. This momentary break breathes some new life into Team Name. On the final push, as BU Esports approaches the third point, they manage to put up a spirited defense, wasting minutes and minutes of the time bank of their opponents. NotAngus on the Hanzo in particular shines, able to win some key duels to extend their stand. In the end, they still get overwhelmed, but you have got to be proud of Team Name for their resilience and fighting spirit.
The defense from BU Esports was, as expected, as incredible as their offense. As on defense, Team Name’s motivation never falters but since this is Campus Clash, not an anime like the Overwatch League, it is not enough to break through the ranks. The disparity in level is showcased by Blizzardstar, who literally wastes two separate Dragonblades while jumping up and down in place in an absurdly short amount of time. With that, the first series of the OW Campush Clash concludes with a 2-0 victory for BU Esports, and a lot of lessons to be learned for Team Name.
Highlight of the week: The spirit of team Team Name. They got knocked down, but they got up again. You’re never gonna keep them down.
Player to watch: Last season it was Widowmakers, this season its the Japanese ninja: Blizzardstar on Genji looked terrifying.
The second best of three was fought between .exe terminated and the Kingpins.
Considering the top 16 placement of .exe last season, they were considered
the favorite to take the series as both teams moved to Lijiang Tower, starting
off with Control Center. For those of you who read previous match reports, you
might remember the weekly player recommendations that ended up being
‘Widowmaker of the week’ segments? Well, in the first best of three we had
Blizzardstar on Genji, and in this second best of three there is Krekro
slinging shurikens. Enabled by aggressive play from Pleb’s Reinhart and the
support provided by Ludacris’ Zarya, Riceybeme’s Lucio and Andromedai’s Ana,
Krekro gets a Dragonblade within the first 30 percent of the map and completely
cleans up the fight.
The frontline of Oscli on Reinhardt and Kam on Zarya can’t adequately deal with all the pressure being put out, with Librothers chucking a healthy dose of grenades towards them.
Even overly liberal ultimate use from .exe isn’t enough to get Kingpins back into the game.
A similar fate befalls them on Garden. Even when we see overagression from .exe, their mechanical level of play is too high for Kingpins to deal with. The best example of this is when Krekro gets taken out, and the rest of his team – while fighting a 5v6- expend multiple ultimates trying to win the fight. Through excellent support and tank play, they manage to hold on until Krekro shows up, and clean up relatively easily afterwards. In the end, while Kingpins manage to cap the point for a little bit, they can not match the skirmishing power of .exe and they themselves are not showing a lot of restraint in how they used their ultimates.
For the second and possibly final map of the night, we moved to the outskirts of what is left of Australian society: Junkertown. A map that is well known for the extremely open initial point, allowing for a wide variety of strategies ranging from double sniper to Protect the Bastion pushing compositions. With .exe starting on defense, Kingpins were looking for an opening to even out the best of three by starting off strong on offense. A last minute switch by Krekro to Genji to accompany Librothers on the Hanzo should be susceptible to getting punished by the Roadhog GOATS composition of Kingpins, but it turns out that weaknesses in team comps can be dealt with if one is extremely aggressive. As soon as the doors open, Kingpins are getting pushed back with Bionic Grenades, Firestrikes and Scattering Arrows. Three teamfights in a row, Kingpins get wiped as the team kill bell rings. It is not until the backbone of the offense of .exe, Pleb, gets punished for his overaggression as Riceybeme’s Ana and Ludacris’ Zarya are still on their way back from the spawn. Kingpins seize this opportunity with both hands, and .exe shows some signs of weakness as they expend a Transcendence and Nanoboost while the fight was all but lost. Unfortunately, once the first gate has been passed, .exe again takes control of the game, sealing the fate of the offense when a right side flank is forced to eat a Dragonstrike and Gravitonsurge combo, in which Kingpins effectively waste their Rally and Sound Barrier. With a relatively short distance to push, things are looking good for .exe as they start their offense. Although they initially have some difficulty finding a good teamfight, as Kman’s Genji dashes through their backline, a switch to Winston and a pick on Cordak’s Moira later means that the first point falls quite quickly. On the back of that fight, .exe has built up a huge advantage in ultimate economy, meaning that final teamfight of the match came down to Kingpins being on the receiving end of very uncomfortable mix of Dragonblades and or strikes, a hamster dropping mines and a gorilla that didn’t even have to get mad to push through. With that, .exe terminated take the win over the Kingpins with a 2-0 victory.
And with that, an end has come to the first match report of the week! We will be back with a broadcast next week when you will be entertained by the wonderful vowels as your colour caster, with fresh blood omnitoaster joining him for the first time on the Campus Clash. See you next Monday at 7:15 at the Overwatch Campus Clash!