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The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

AU Call of Duty eSports team falls 3-1 in heartbreaking fashion

The Eagles have now lost three contests straight
Ashland eSports
AU COD team member Phil Howman heads into his second season with the team.

The AU Call of Duty (COD) eSports team has now lost three contests in a row, as they fall to 2-4 on the 2023 fall campaign.

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, the Eagles went up against the University of South Florida Bulls in Week Six of the fall season. When the two sides went toe-to-toe, it would be the Bulls fighting with the extra edge as they pulled off a nail-biting 3-1 win over the Eagles.

“Tonight was the toughest loss on the season in my opinion,” said COD Team Captain Connor “Prometheus” Milne. “Clawing our way back to just come up short, it’s heartbreaking.”

To begin, the Eagles kicked things off with the hardpoint game mode as the two sides would take on one another on the map, hotel. This map had been a struggle for the Eagles throughout the majority of the fall season, and that would remain to be the case.

The Bulls started off fast, securing the first 50 points of the game as they led over the Eagles. However, things shifted quickly as the Eagles were able to hold the next two hardpoint rotations, bringing the contest back within reach.

While it looked like the Eagles were going to claw back into the lead, the attacking play started to fizzle out. The duo of Milne and Jake “Surge” Bucher were unable to flow into the opposing team’s spawn, ultimately losing map control.

The Bulls would go on to win, 250-149, marking a 101-point differential between the two sides.

In the second map, the Eagles and Bulls would take on each other on the map, El Asilo, in the search and destroy game mode.

This would be a struggle-some map for the Eagles as they once again were outplayed by the Bulls. In the opening round, the Bulls instantly put the pressure on the Eagles, taking them down in seconds.

Heading into the second round, the Eagles bounced back and countered an attack from the Bulls, bringing the game level at 1-1. With slight confidence starting to build, it looked as though they would be able to keep the contest close and competitive, but little mistakes would cause an avalanche of faults to occur.

The Bulls would end of taking a 2-0 match series lead with a 6-1 win in search and destroy, winning five rounds straight over the Eagles.

The third map would bring the Eagles back to hotel in the control game mode. Just days earlier the Eagles had fallen 3-0 on that map and game mode to Shenandoah University.

To begin, the Eagles went down 2-0, needing to win three rounds straight to pull off the map win.

“Being down 2-0 isnt easy, but we knew we had to take it one round at a time,” said team member Tyler “Tide” Donley. “We didn’t panic, we just played how we know we can.”

There, the comeback would start as they mounted back-to-back-to-back statement wins. Those three round wins would bring the match series back within one, 2-1.

“The rounds came, and when we won it was a huge confidence boost going into map 4,” said Donley.

In the hardpoint game mode for the fourth map, the Eagles would go back and forth with the Bulls. This one, would be a nail-biter. At one point in time, the Eagles trailed by upwards of 70 points before regaining a massive comeback.

With the scoreline sitting in favor of the Bulls, 200-130, the Eagles would rally, piecing together a few of the hardpoint rotations.

The Eagles eventually led 234-231, needing just 16 more points in order to pull off the victory. With just two more rotations until a victor would be declared, the two sides heated up.

Within a 44-second span, Milne turned on the jets as he recorded an impressive spree of eight eliminations, trying to will the Eagles to a victory.

However, it would not be good enough for the win as the Bulls would win the rotation to the next hardpoint, pulling off a 250-239 win, effectively ending the Eagles’ comeback.

“It was a tough loss, we were coming alive in the control game mode and almost made the comeback for the HP,” said COD Head Coach Elijah Roberts. “Team Captain Connor [Milne] put on a master class at the end. We are now fighting for the playoffs with every game left, and we have a lot to prove.”

The 3-1 loss marks three straight defeats for the Eagles as they have lost 9-out-of-10 maps played.

“Despite the loss, we are showing signs of improvement in the respawns which is huge coming down to the last 2 weeks,” said Milne. “Nothing but respect to USF, great performance out of them.”

The Eagles, with two games remaining in the season, look to go up against the Cleary University Cougars on Wednesday, Oct. 18 with gametime set for 8:30 P.M.

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