UPIKE Esports team wins season-opener

Staff Report

PIKEVILLE – There may have been some pregame jitters, with being the opening event in the history of the program, but the University of Pikeville Esports team put any pressure to rest with a dominant 2-0 win in League of Legends (LoL) over Wichita State (Kan.) on Saturday in the iBUYPOWER Esports Arena.

The Bears (1-0) and Shockers (0-1), playing in the Collegiate Star League (CSL), played a best-of-three LoL series. Both games had great team play from UPIKE as Mark McNeil led the charge in the opener with a 7/0/3 kill-death-assist ratio. In the second game, ADC Nick Honkanen and Jungler James Williams tallied six kills each.

Johnathan Song posted a 7/0/15 KDA for the Bears in the game-two win.

First blood (first kill of the game) went to Rengar in the opener in just two minutes and 49 seconds. A four-man gank (surprise attack) got it done after a double jungle on the red side. McNeil, known by Prydex in game, had the first three kills before 10 minutes had gone by.

At the 10-minute mark, UPIKE had a 2,400 gold advantage over Wichita State (14.4 to 12.1), which had increased to a 13,000 advantage at the 20-minute mark. Utlizing Jungle pressure in all lanes early on, the Bears became too powerful, too quick on their way to a 17-0 win.

In game two, the first blood was recorded in 47 seconds after a Thresh hook and Ahri charm for Ekko. Much like the lead in game one, UPIKE was up in gold by 3,700 just 10 minutes in.

The Bears had some strong play early when the champion Tristana had doubled her gold by farming in 10 minutes, then Thresh and Ahri hit four hook-charm combos to increase the team’s advantage.

UPIKE had overall strong use of team composition meant to land one crowd-control move and followed by with a chain of them, whether it was stun, slow or silence. The Shockers were ultimately forced to surrender at the 20:11 mark with a 19,000 difference in gold. The final score was 24-3 as the Shockers earned some kills with a fix of jungle-vision issues from game one.

Gold is considered the best item to determine the lead as the more gold a team has collected or farmed, the more items are available, leading to a more powerful team. Kills are typically used for a general idea of who is winning, but gold proves more times than not to be the difference.

One other term to get used to is Ganks, which are usually coordinated and executed by a Jungler or roaming Laner to catch an enemy champion off guard and take them out before reaching the safety of their tower of teammates.

Junglers are the player on a five-person team that doesn’t stay locked in a specific lane, instead using any part of a map out of a lane or not in a team’s base. This includes the river dividing the two sides. In order to stay as strong as their teammates, a Jungler will gain gold from killing neutral monsters in the jungle.

Champions are simply the player-controlled characters summoned to wage battle in each LoL game. There are currently 126 released champions which are selected by each team prior to a single game.

Staff Report

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