Quinnipiac Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Overwatch teams take care of business as heavy favorites in MAAC esports quarterfinals


Connor Lawless

Team captain Justin “Mister Purple” Ellis won the first set of the match in No. 1 Quinnipiac’s 30-6 win over No. 8 Niagara.

Riley Millette and Connor Lawless

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate team dog walks Niagara in quarterfinals

No. 1 Quinnipiac essentially played a warmup round against No. 8 Niagara. The final score was 30-6 and the team only lost one of five sets to the Purple Eagles.

Quinnipiac team captain Justin “Mr. Purple” Ellis led off the match for the Bobcats and was upset in his first game. Playing as Ness against Niagara’s William “Boshikoopa” Schwarzmueller playing as Donkey Kong, Ellis suffered from timely edgeguards and shield breaks. Schwarzmueller took a one-stock victory.

But the captain stormed back, taking the second and third games of the set and earning seven points for the Bobcats, two from the victory and five from his stock differential over Schwarzmueller.

“I was playing too safe, I was playing a bit too technical,” Ellis said about the first game. “I wanted to get way more aggressive in the second half of that set, and I think that’s what really turned the tables.”

But the most electric set of the day came courtesy of reigning MAAC Player of the Year Jonathan “Bakko” Mason. Playing as Shulk against Mythra, Mason made quick work of his game-clinching set. He won the first two games without losing a stock, giving Quinnipiac a perfect eight points and increasing the overall score to 23-6.

A couple mistakes from Niagara, including a mistimed, off-platform down special, helped Mason complete the sweep. His perfection of Shulk’s fast-paced style was too much to keep up with.

“I was thinking that I might just want to try to show some dominance beforehand, make him scared to actually do anything about it,” Mason said. “This is just another run-of-the-mill event for me, so I just need to come in with the same mindset every time. Just be calm, be clearheaded.”

After some of his KOs, he would bounce in his chair rhythmically to the music playing through his earbuds. The Twitch stream of the game plays live directly beside the players while the stream audio plays out loud to the whole venue. Some players on the team, including Ellis and Mason, put in headphones and listen to music to drown out that outside noise.

“It can be very tilting as a player to have that (noise), and we’re big music people,” Ellis said. “When we’re in the esports lab, we have our music playing out loud while we’re playing the game.”

Also winning their sets today were William “Billy Schilly” Schillinger and Dillon “Grit” Diaspro. Diaspro, who played as Bowser Jr., remains undefeated this season and is likely to be named MAAC Player of the Year. Schillinger played as Pokemon Trainer, and both players contributed seven points to their team.

Quinnipiac’s only losing member was Theo “Soulcake” Offerman. Playing as Sonic against Bowser, he strung together some well-timed down specials and counteracted Bowser’s neutral special, but Bowser’s sheer strength was too much to overcome. Bowser is the heaviest character in the game, while Sonic is the 70th heaviest out of 89 characters.

The strategy of matching heavy characters like Donkey Kong and Bowser against smaller, combo-based characters like Sonic and Ness worked at times for Niagara, especially against Offerman. But technical skill and combos won out in the end, and Quinnipiac took the easy victory.

The regular-season champion Bobcats will play No. 4 Manhattan in the semifinals March 11 at 6:15 p.m.

No. 2 Quinnipiac Overwatch team’s overwhelming offensive knocks No. 7 Canisius off its feet and out of the MAAC Esports Championship

No. 2 Quinnipiac Overwatch won 3-0 in its quarterfinals matchup against Canisius. (Connor Lawless)

No. 2 Quinnipiac decisively dispatched No. 7 Canisius in a short 3-0 Overwatch match on March 10. The Bobcats only gave up one objective in the whole match on the third map, played on Hanamura where the Golden Griffins managed to secure the first objective in overtime.

Players first competed on Lijiang Tower over a king-of-the-hill objective. The first round on the map went to Quinnipiac, who held Canisius back toward its spawn point for most of the round. The second round started even, until two outstanding plays by DPS player Jake “Grub” Debroff on Symmetra and support player Thomas “Broccoli” Eckart on Baptiste turned the advantage to the Bobcats.

Early into the round, Debroff put the heat on the Golden Griffins with a pentakill, allowing the Bobcats to regroup and hold a favorable defensive position with control over the objective. They would hold on to this advantage until an unexpected death from Eckart opened up an opportunity for Canisius. Upon returning, however, Eckart rallied with a pentakill of his own to complete the first map of the match

“(The play) felt great,” Eckart said. “I died really embarrassingly the life before that, so I was glad I was able to make up for that.”

Like the first map before it, Quinnipiac won the second map of the match on King’s Row with little resistance.

The Bobcats started on defense and held the Golden Griffins from the first objective for the majority of the round. The only real threat of a loss came from Canisuis’ Cassidy besting Debroff’s Cassidy in a 1v1, opening an opportunity for the Golden Griffins.

This hole was soon plugged with a strong defensive performance from tank player Nicholas “Firestorm” Tokmanian on Reinhart. Quinnipiac won the round giving no ground, with only one-third of the objective needing to be completed on offense for the Bobcats to win the map.

Quinnipiac won the offensive round in mere minutes. An overwhelming and unified push backed by strong communication led the Bobcats to take the objective on their first push, clinching map two and bringing them to match point on the third map.

“(Communication) is a joint effort,” Eckart said. “(Tokmanian) does a lot of it, especially on control maps, but we usually just say what comes to our head.”

Support player Brooke “Cookie” Carleton also felt that communication played a key role in the Bobcats’ victory.

“When it comes to when someone’s low or whatever, we’re all collectively communicating these things to each other,” Carleton said.

With their backs against the wall, Canisius gave the third map, played on Hanamura, its all and performed its best of the match. Despite Quinnipiac holding a nearly unbreakable choke point, the Golden Griffins broke through and captured the first objective in overtime. With the momentum of the capture, they barreled into the second checkpoint, ready to take this map from the Bobcats.

However, Quinnipiac’s defense was there to meet them, repelling Canisius from the control point after it had captured a third of the objective. Debroff led the defensive effort on Ashe, with his shot placement wiping the Canisius team. Through the last two maps, Debroff’s accuracy made sure that Canisius had to watch its positioning and made pushing difficult for the Golden Griffins.

Canisius wouldn’t make it back onto the point, and on its defensive rounds, it had to hold Quinnipiac off of the second objective or lose the match.

The Bobcats went on to win the match 3-0. Quinnipiac started its offensive round with a lightning push, knocking the Golden Griffins off balance and taking the first objective swiftly. Canisius was ready for the second objective and held Quinnipiac back, ensuring only an exceptional push would break through its defense.

That exceptional push came a few minutes later, as Debroff on Hanzo netted a triple-kill with his ultimate, allowing the Bobcats to sweep up the rest of Canisius’ players left alive and capture the point, securing their place in the semifinals against No. 3 Iona.

“It’s exciting. We’re up against Iona. It’s going to be a good match,” Eckart said.

The Bobcats return to face off against the Gaels March 11 at 11 a.m. in the MAAC Esports Championship semifinals.