Lopes’ communication suffers in first-round exit
By: Giovanni Hicks/ GCU Club Sports Writing staff
“Playoffs were stressful for some of our players,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Kasey Cocking. “That atmosphere was a real test of our team’s ability to play together effectively.”
The Grand Canyon University Esports League of Legends teams recently ended their seasons in the Unified Junior League tournament. After both teams secured late-season victories to capture a playoff spot, GCU Black and GCU Purple were bested in their first-round matchups.
With only one week left in the regular season, GCU Purple and GCU Black were sitting outside of the playoff picture. The last game of the regular season determined if the Lopes would secure a playoff berth.
The Lopes rose to the occasion.
GCU Purple defeated Viticulture Esports, 2-0. GCU Black, after dropping the first game, won back-to-back games against the No. 1 team in the division, Oasis Cloud. These victories made both squads a top-4 team in their respective divisions, making them eligible for the postseason.
GCU Purple’s first-round playoff opponent? None other than Oasis Cloud, who – after losing Game 1 – attacked the Lopes’ teamwork to take the next two games, erasing GCU’s shot for the title.
GCU Black’s first-round playoff matchup was Holy Divers – a similarly skilled team who held the same 3-2 record as the Lopes during the regular season. GCU dropped the first match of the three-game series, but then bounced back in Game 2, securing 28 eliminations to Holy Divers’ 9. The Lopes couldn’t capitalize on their momentum, however, and lost the last match, eliminating them from championship contention.
“Although we didn’t achieve the ultimate goal, this tournament taught this team the importance of team play,” said Cocking. “In the future, we need to focus more on our communication strategy to put the team in a better position to win.”
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