NACE Starleague Fall 2021 Grand Finals Recap
NACE Starleague wrapped up the Fall 2021 Grand Finals on December 5th after two days of competition between ten collegiate teams in five game titles. After over 11 hours of intense gameplay, five teams were announced as NACE Starleague National Champion.
On the first day of the Grand Finals, teams prepared for Rocket League, CS:GO, and Call of Duty, reserving the Overwatch and League of Legends Grand Finals matches for Sunday.
Both Bay State College and Northwood University entered into the finals after competing in the upper bracket of playoffs, Bay State with a record of 9-0 and Northwood with a record of 9-0. Bay State logged onto the field with starters Falss, Nesscoff, and Elomarmaton, and Northwood with Noxes, Lionblaze, and TCorrell.
In the best of seven grand finals match, the first round went into overtime with an initial score of one to one, which was remedied after a minute and twenty-four seconds with a goal from Noxes. The following rounds built in momentum when Northwood took the next two rounds 3-2 then 7-0.
Up against the wall, Bay State began to turn the tide, taking the fourth and fifth match 4-2 and 5-3. In the final map, Northwood put a stop to the retaliation with a score of 3-1, with a final score of 4-2, earning Northwood their first championship title of the weekend.
Davenport University and Drexel University squared up in the best of 3 NACE Starleague Fall 2021 CS:GO Grand Final match with records of 9-0. On Davenport’s starting team: Pugg, Arcade, Bebo, Cojomo, and Slowmotion. On Drexel’s: David Febreeze, Stx, Nova, Gank88.
In a competitive and seemingly evenly placed match, Davenport took Inferno as the first map 15-6. To even the score, Drexel took the following map, Nuke, 15-12. In an interview with Drexel University’s team, Stx cited this as where the tide had turned and the game was in their hands.
“We knew Nuke was probably a punishment pick against us since we aren’t a super coordinated team,” said Stx. “Once we won Nuke, we knew the game was probably over, because there was no way they were going to beat us on Overpass.”
In Overpass, Drexel broke the tie and took the map and the championship title 16-11. The Drexel team shared in their interview that they regarded Davenport as a competitive and domineering team.
“Davenport was the final boss that any team would inevitably have to face. And I think that added a different kind of level,” said Nova. “There were always teams that were strong and capable that we looked forward to beating, but there was never this goliath that we had to overcome until this season.”
Call of Duty
For the NACE Starleague Fall 2021 Call of Duty Grand Finals, Independence Community College and St. Clair College faced off once again in the definitive match. With a record of 8-1, Independence featured starters Alessio, Bighead, Marxus, and Jzurk. With an undefeated record of 9-0, St. Clair featured starters Preistly, Gorilla, Brandon, and Sauce.
In the best of nine match, Independence had the opportunity for redemption after a loss to St. Clair. Independence took the first map, followed by the second map, Hardpoint, 250-169. St. Clair ended the trend by winning Search and Destroy 6-3.
Independence took back the reins after clinching a win in control 3-0, and then 250-208 in Hardpoint. The final map was once again taken by Independence in Search and Destroy, 6-3.
“NACE Starleague has been great to us, and we’ve done great this season,” said Jzurk. “Considering that was our first time playing as a team I’d say we’re doing very well.
Launching into the NACE Starleague Fall 2021 Overwatch Grand Finals, Northwood University and Bay State College faced off once again, for the second time over the weekend.
Northwood stepped up to the plate with an 8-1 record and Landon, Lep, Cowman, Szns, Dynasty, and Nos. Bay State held an undefeated record, starting with M1kan, Kabe, Infernal, Abbs, Faded, and Forgotten.
In the best of five match, Northwood took the championship title in a full sweep, with all three maps resulting in overtimes. Northwood University stepped away from their second Grand Finals match with two Fall 2021 national championship titles.
League of Legends
Harrisburg University and Winthrop University, both with records of 6-0, faced off in the NACE Starleague Fall 2021 League of Legends JV Grand Finals as the final match of the championship weekend. Harrisburg started with Cloudnguyen, Zile, Highkeysavage, Maykel, and Loopk, while Winthrop deployed Mabud, CrabAppleBoy, Haebaragi, Grimm, and Koskinen.
In previous championships, Koskinen and Zile have competed on the same team at Robert Morris University. Koskinen described the match jokingly as a “grudge match” in the post-game interview.
While this match is for JV competitors, it was approached with the same level of drive as a varsity match would be. “I basically just went into it the same way I’d go into any normal match,” said Mabud. “I’ll just play my best, keep my communication clean, and stay level headed.”
In the best of three match, Winthrop took the first map 16-4, and the second 32-20.
“In the second game, in the first minute, I level two ganked them and got first blood on Ziggs, I just knew the series was over,” said Grimm. “It was going to be 2-0 right then and there.”