Quinnipiac esports brings home two conference titles


Connor Lawless

The Quinnipiac club esports team won two championships in Atlantic City this year.

Alexandra Martinakova, Staff Writer

The Quinnipiac club esports team traveled to Atlantic City from March 9-11 for the 2023 MAAC Esports Championships and earned MAAC Championships in Valorant and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

For the second consecutive year, the tournament was held at the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City. And for the second consecutive year, the Quinnipiac team brought back the trophy for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, along with a first-time trophy for Valorant as well.

“It was really exciting. It was a lot like what sports in high school were, where we got on a big bus and traveled down together as a team,” said Lance Regan, a freshman captain of the Valorant team.

Quinnipiac is part of the MAAC Esports Conference alongside nine other universities: Canisius, Fairfield, Iona, Manhattan, Marist, Mount St. Mary’s, Niagara, Rider and Siena.

The teams compete in five games total: Valorant, Overwatch, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and League of Legends.

The Bobcats entered the tournament seeded No. 5 in Rocket League, No. 4 in both League of Legends and Overwatch, No. 2 in Valorant and No. 1 in SSBU. 24 different players represented the Quinnipiac’s navy and gold over the event.

As a high-seeded team, Quinnipiac earned a bye to the quarterfinals in each bracket. During the first day of the tournament, the Bobcats managed to just narrowly edge out the Fairfield Stags in Overwatch, pushing the match to the last map. Similarly, they slipped past both the Canisius Golden Griffins and Marist Red Foxes to advance into the Valorant and Rocket League semifinals, respectively.

Quinnipiac closed the opening day of the tournament with a loss to the Stags, falling in League of Legends 2-0.

In the beginning of day two, the Bobcats lost their spot in the Overwatch finals, falling to the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers in three straight maps. Fairfield blocked the team from getting into the Rocket League finals as well. On the other hand, in Valorant, the Bobcats slipped past the Mountaineers to enter the finals.

Since SSBU was skipped over the first day, both the quarterfinals and semifinals were held on the same day. Quinnipiac easily moved through both of those rounds, defeating Iona and Marist.

Day three was reserved strictly for the final rounds of each game. The top-seeded Bobcats faced Siena in the grand final for the third year in a row. For the second time, they took home the win, being crowned 2023 SSBU MAAC Champions. Quinnipiac junior and SSBU team captain Jonathan ‘Bakko’ Mason was also named the SSBU MVP for the third year in a row.

“Beforehand, I was fairly confident with the whole event itself, because we had a nearly undefeated season, with just one loss,” Mason said. “A lot of our early matches were pretty tough, but once we got to Siena, everything just kind of fell into place.”

In the Valorant finals, Quinnipiac edged out Marist 2-1 and grabbed its second ever title, as the 2023 Valorant MAAC Champions. The win is even more impressive given that the team is composed of four freshmen and a single junior.

“The upperclassmen are very open arms about us being freshmen, especially since we make a lot of mistakes, but they completely understand that and they help us.” Regan said. The win led to another MVP title awarded to a Quinnipiac player, Javier ‘Torn’ Flores.

With Iona winning League of Legends, Mount St. Mary’s taking Overwatch and Fairfield snatching Rocket League, the Quinnipiac esports team was the only team to bring home two titles in 2023.

“It was an amazing experience, not only because I got to play video games but also because I got to have a really competitive environment,” Regan said.