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The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

AU eSports Call of Duty team falls to 2-3 on the season with 3-0 loss

The Eagles suffered the team’s second-straight 3-0 sweep
Ashland eSports
eSports Call of Duty Team Captain Connor Milne has been a staple on the team for two seasons.

The Ashland University Call of Duty eSports team has suffered back-to-back losses in the NACE Starleague, with both outings resulting in sweeps for the team.

On Sunday, Oct. 1, the Eagles kicked off the new month with the team’s fifth contest of the season against the 3-1 Shenandoah University Hornets. The Hornets, who were coming off a nail-biting loss, came out swinging from start to finish in a 3-0 victory over the Eagles.

“Overall improvements have been a key to the rally of the season,” said CoD Head Coach Elijah Roberts. “We need to focus on playing our game and making it count on game day.”

To begin the day, the Eagles competed in the hardpoint game mode, where two team teams would compete against one another in holding down different areas on a map, known as a “point”, for a designated time of 60 seconds per area. The team in the designated area would receive a score per second. The winning team would have to reach a scoreline of 250.

The Eagles would kick things off on one of the team’s best maps, Al Bagra Fortress, where they would have to rely on the play of the submachine duo of Jake “Surge” Bucher and Connor “Prometheus” Milne.

Off the rip, it looked like the opening game would be competitive as the two sides exchanged sprees of eliminations, while also recording time on the hardpoint.

Through the opening rotations, the Eagles trailed by a score of 80-30, before falling back behind even further.

While Surge and Prometheus were unable to get the game flowing, the rifle duo of Tyler “Tide” Donley and Phil “Pork” Howman, were also struggling to find a pace of play that would help the team thrive. The Eagles would go on to fall behind 211-71 at one point in time, marking a 140-point margin between the two teams.

To finish the contest, the Eagles would find roughly 40 more points before the Hornets waltzed away to a 250-117-point victory.

The Hornets winning the opening map would give them a 1-0 series lead.

Heading into the second game, the Eagles needed to bounce back in hopes of tying up the series.

The game mode was set for search and destroy on the map Breenbergh Hotel, where the two teams either protect or defend a set site on the map in which the other team’s goal is to plant a bomb to destroy the point. This game mode would last until the winning team hit a score of six rounds.

The Eagles came into the 2023-24 fall season with confidence under the team’s belt in that game mode, however, the past two weeks had been struggle-some for them. The week prior, the team had been dominated, 6-1 by the St. Clair Saints.

Unfortunately, the storyline would repeat itself for the second consecutive week as the Eagles were outplayed, falling 6-2.

After the win, the Hornets went up 2-0 in the series and were in the drivers seat to pull off the match sweep.

The last game mode would by control back on Breenbergh Hotel, where both teams aim to capture or defend two zones without running out of 30 total respawns.

To start, the Eagles came out swinging, performing at a top level as they swiftly took down the Hornets in the opening round. With a 1-0 start in control, it looked like the Eagles were going to be able to rebound and potentially force a game four in the series.

However, as the prior contests went, the Eagles would fizzle out just as fast.

“Last night was a rough one, we went in with confidence and just didn’t perform,” said Milne.

The Eagles went on to fall 3-1 in the control game mode, ultimately losing the series, 3-0.

The loss pushes the Eagles to a 2-3 record with just three games remaining in the fall campaign. They now look to take on the University of South Florida on Wednesday, Oct.4 with game time set for 7:00 p.m.

“Going into USF need to hammer our fundamentals and work on the basics,” said Milne. “Our team chemistry is out of whack and our confidence on the map is down. That will be a huge thing we focus on as well as we look to the next game.”

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