Story by Zach Avery, Editor-in-Chief
On Sunday, April 10, the AQ esports League of Legends team wrapped up their perfect season in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) by taking the championship title against #2 seed Lawrence Tech. The team’s shutout wins in their semifinals and grand finals matches were a fitting conclusion to this past weekend’s exciting WHAC finals gameplay in both League and Overwatch, all taking place in Aquinas’ own Sturrus Center.
“More than anything, we’ve been using our matches in WHAC as a benchmark,” said player Stevenator, or Steven Figge. “Going undefeated is a good sign for our overall progression as a team, but not the be-all-end-all in terms of results. Our sights are more set on nationals.”
After scoring massive amounts of eliminations in standout matches against Cleary University and other schools, Figge has proven himself to be a powerful adversary in-game and an impressive leader toward his crew. He has even been recognized as WHAC “Player of the Year” in collegiate League of Legends. But, what is a player without their team?
“This roster is definitely the strongest we’ve ever had,” Figge said. “Both due to improvement in individual players, and also because our coach Tanner (Zeu) Deegan has done a great job of unifying the way we play together bit by bit.”
Looking ahead toward Aquinas’ run on the national stage, Figge and his team cannot wait to prove themselves amongst the big-name colleges and universities that have dominated the space of collegiate League of Legends for some time now, including three-time national champion Maryville University from Missouri.
“WHAC was the warmups, and now we get to test ourselves versus the best teams in the country and see how we stack up,” Figge said.
For many of Aquinas’ League players, this journey toward nationals has been a longtime coming. The team has dealt with many changes and obstacles these past few years, from losing players to losing their own coach. But, through determination and passion for the game, the Saints have left a new mark on our own esports program and AQ as a whole.
“It went from friends having fun and competing locally to a family looking to be number one,” said player ArmorClass, or William Wolf, another competitor alongside Figge. “In WHAC, we are considered giants. Now, we truly get to see how we match up to the big dogs.”