The League of Legends team took part in the annual Midwest Campus Clash after their Northern Regional Finals win. Hosted by Columbia College, the tournament had a prize pool of $25,000.
The League of Legends team faced off against several tough opponents at the tournament, their run began with a set against Kansas State University in the quarterfinals. Both games were ended in quick fashion with Maryville dominating the set 2-0.
Next up, the team faced off against their long-time rivals Robert Morris University. Their season was ended prematurely in CLoL (The Collegiate League.) For them, Midwest Campus Clash was the last chance to prove themselves as being a major force at LAN like they were in previous years.
The team once again was able to defeat their opponents 2-0 and advanced to the finals. Last year, they made it to the same position and fell to Robert Morris University right before the CLoL National Championship. The loss marked one of the first times that the team had ever been beaten in organization history.
This time, their opponents in the finals were the new collegiate team, Columbia College. The Maryville team has had a storied history this year against CC, receiving their first-ever loss in CLoL history and their ultimate redemption by winning against them in the Northern Regional Finals only three days before the tournament.
The first game was a close contest early on, however, CC managed to break open the game and won the first match before 30 minutes. The second and third matches were a different story however, the Maryville team managed to turn around the set and won the next two games and the finals 2-1.
The MVP of last year’s National Championship run, Chody Altman, talked about the victory. “It felt really good because it’s the only championship that has eluded Maryville. To bring it home, it was very eye-opening. Beating the hometown crowd of CC in their own home and see my fiancée smile and be able to share that special moment with Kevin (Maryville’s other Jungler.) It helped us realize that we are a strong enough duo to win, it was an amazing feeling.”
Since Midwest Campus Clash is the last tournament before the National Championship, it’s the last experience that teams can get to prepare for the LAN environment and adapt to the constraints on the stage. Last year, Maryville fell to Robert Morris University and realized their shortcomings prior to the major tournament.
“The meta shifts definitely helped our team, it helped Tony (Top Laner) realize that he’s more than what he thought he was. He thought he was just a carry player, but he’s transitioned into being a really good tank player and that’s really helped the team progress,” Altman said. “I think that having West switching to support and having Kevin switch into jungle with me has been a reliever, I’ll be honest there’s a lot of stress starting jungle because you’re the first to get blamed and to split it with somebody is a relieving feeling and a nice feeling. You get to see somebody else succeed and yourself succeed.”
Team analyst Matthew Taylor also spoke of the recent success. “I’ve had all night to come down from all the excitement. I still feel good about our team, we won simply due to being more prepared. Our play wasn’t as optimal as it could have been, and we will have a lot of work to do between now and uLoL finals in June.”
His impact on the team has been felt through the improvement in the macro play.
The team’s next step is the National Championship tournament in LA June 7-10.