By Josh Tolentino
Assistant Features Editor
The Pioneers e-sports team ended their fourth “League of Legends” match against the NYIT Bears on Thursday, Feb. 21, with a loss of 2-0, making them 4-0 for the season. The team previously went against Molloy College on Feb. 15 (L 2-0), Saint Thomas Aquinas College on Feb. 8 (L 2-0), and Southern New Hampshire University pm Feb. 1 (L 2-0). Although the Pioneers did not secure the win against NYIT, the team still had exceptional plays.
The match had two rounds of Summoner’s Rift (the standard map for LOL matches), a 5v5 map with three lanes, top, mid, and bottom. Typically players position themselves in one of the lanes with one on top, one on mid, two on bottom, and one in the jungle.
Senior Kalvin “Fallexiga” Dang played Sion and Gnar on top lane. Sophomore Kelsey “FrostVoltage” Catanjal took middle lane while playing Vel’Koz and Lissandra. Graduate Reid “Rexisdead” Erickson took the jungle as Kin- dred and Kayn. The bottom lane was secured by Sophomore Willis “Cold Kirel” Li playing Morgana and Rakan and junior Tim “HOBO” Mcintyre playing Jhin and Kai’Sa.
Champion synergy and little mistakes made throughout the match contributed to the Pioneers’ first loss of the night. Team captain Cold Kirel noted there were “problems going through the strategy. [We] did not put enough pressure on bottom lane, allowing the Bears to push for the win.” The Bears managed to win the laning phase with the Pioneers’ weak defense against their push. Rexisdead was caught in the jungle multiple times. The Bears capitalized on his positioning and took over the Pioneers’ bottom lane.
During the second round, the Pioneers demonstrated skilled individual play. Fallexiga managed to intercept a dive from the Bears, who were setting up to take out the outer top turret (a tower on the map) and make an advance. Before a team fight could initiate, Frost-Voltage was picked off in the mid lane. Fallexige pulled back from the Bears’ Malphite, Vladimir, and Ivern. He neared the inner turret with less than 300 health (HP) and activated Mega Gnar. With enough health, he picked off both Malphite and Vladimir. Ivern attempted to retreat, but was taken out by an auto attack.
The Pioneers eSports team formed in the fall, with players who have little to no experience in ECC games, and no coach for the team other than the student team captain. But they still held their ground. The shotcalling and decisiveness made by Cold Kirel, Fallexige sticking to his guns in a 1v3, and FrostVoltage’s above average creep score made up for rookie mistakes- the makings of a great team. The Pioneers will play their last match of the season on Friday, March 1 against Daemen College in the eSports Arena in Hillwood Commons.