Lopes’ game strategy not enough to overcome Akron in collegiate semis
By: Giovanni Hicks/GCU Club Sports Writing Staff
The Grand Canyon University Rainbow Six Siege Esports team fared well while playing in the Faceit Championship league, riding win after win to the West Regional Finals, and ultimately the FACEIT Collegiate Championship Semifinals.
In the West Regional Finals, GCU took on Northern Arizona University. NAU came out guns blazing and caught GCU off guard as they rolled to the Map 1 victory despite excellent play from the Lopes. The Lopes then refocused on Maps 2 and 3 to pull off the come-from-behind victory.
“The key to winning this match was setting the tempo,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Sam Sarlo. “In the first map, we played into NAU’s style and that’s why we lost. When we played at our own pace, we were able to perform better.”
That win propelled the Lopes into the final four and a national semifinal match against a familiar opponent in the University of Akron. GCU has had multiple battles against Akron in the past, so Sarlo and the Lopes had a plan in place to slow down the Zips’ attack.
“We were hoping we could put together some counter-strategies against Akron,” said Sarlo. “We’ve beaten this team in the past, so we were trying to replicate that.”
The confident Lopes could not match the Zips’ highly aggressive level of play. GCU dropped all three maps, sending Akron to the Grand Final championship match and the eventual national championship (after beating Purdue University).
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