Assumption hosts Esports tryouts
Caleb White, Online Editor
Assumption University’s Esports program hosted team tryouts for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Rocket League, and League of Legends on Saturday, September 18 in the Hagan Campus Center. The session marked a return to the Esports Arena after over a year of disuse due to COVID.
The program picked up new players for their two Smash Ultimate teams, two Rocket League teams, and one League of Legends team. Assumption is now slated to compete in the Eastern College Athletic Conference for their Fall 2021 Esports season.
“The coolest thing for me was finally being able to see so many people come into the room again,” Smash Ultimate captain Alec Prentiss explained in an interview last Monday. “We had a higher turnout than projected, and quite a few walk-ins who just came in to play some games and have fun.”
Over the past year, the Smash roster had great success despite being limited to online play. Because of its one-on-one nature, the ECAC pits Smash teams into “crew-battles” to highlight individual skill. The team fought their way through the regular season into the ECAC playoffs and won two rounds before being eliminated.
In order to keep the team strong, Prentiss carefully watched the tryouts to determine who had promise. The seven tryouts played matches against each other and the rostered veterans to showcase their ability.
“What I was looking for was raw skill,” he said. “Who had taken the time to build the fundamentals, who demonstrated the most knowledge and ability in-game.”
Three of the tryouts ended up being picked, including Marc-Andy Mexil, Robert Austin, and Joseph Mitchell. Returnees include Alec Prentiss, Ryan Donahue, Mitchel Hurley, Mason Camille, and Trent Wright.
Ryan Imbriglio, captain of the Assumption Rocket League team, had similar qualifications for tryouts. Because the game is team-based, however, he also looked for communication skills and a team-oriented playstyle. He emphasized that chemistry is important between members, and having a positive atmosphere is important when it comes to rough matches.
During tryouts the matches were very successful, with seven of their eight online matches being won. Five of the players picked up are Ryan Jensen, Brett Dufault, Cameron LaMarche, Daniel Dee, and Lucas Caira. Including Imbriglio, the six-man group is split into Blue and White teams.
Throughout the year, Imbriglio plans to combine team-bonding activities with strategy talk.
“Last year, usually after matches, we would hang out at Tay’s or Chuck’s and discuss how the game went, what we could improve on,” he said. “With this year, how we’re practicing so far, I can see us being hopefully successful and making playoffs, if not winning playoffs.”
The League of Legends team was extremely formidable last year, finishing fourth in ECAC playoffs while upsetting some good teams. Due to players transitioning out, captain Travis Robie looked for players who could continue their dominance in the Mid Laner, Jungler, and Attack-Damage-Carry/ADC positions.
Similarly to Imbriglio, Robie valued team-oriented players who conveyed information well. He also paid attention to those that could be good teammates and showed room to grow. The two people who were chosen are Sean Hurley as Mid Laner and Gabe Purdy as ADC. Returnees include Robie as Support, Matthew Kelley as Top Laner, and Ricky Zheng as Jungler. The team is still looking for a substitute Jungler as Zheng will be graduating at the end of the semester.
Robie was particularly impressed by Gabe Purdy, who showed great synergy with him in the two-man lane and brought them out of losing situations. He is looking forward to their scrimmages, which will include other school teams and even some big-name Esport teams with notable players.
“We’re in a really good position to be one of the leading dogs in the division. So I’m very hopeful and it looks very promising coming in with our roster,” he said.
Details are forthcoming on Blue and White Scholarships and if they will be awarded for rostered players. More inquiries about Assumption’s Esports program can be sent to Head Coach John Cordero at email@example.com.
Although the Esports Arena is only open for teams, there are current plans to stream Assumption’s matches on Twitch. The ECAC season is currently starting, with the teams’ stats being available for viewing at www.ecacesports.com/teams.