Update on UAT eSports Team That’s Suboptimal, Sitting in Top 16
UAT’s League of Legends eSports team That’s Suboptimal had a BYE last weekend due to their top performance. Currently Team That’s Suboptimal is ranked in the Top 16 teams in the West and will play in the Round of 16 on March 4, against University of Southern California USC A.
If they win on March 4, they will enter the Regional Quarter Finals or the Top 8 on March 11. Teams that make it to that stage will earn a $1,000 scholarship per player.
If they make it all the way to the top team in the Region, they will play against the top team for each region in the post-season.
“This is by far our best year yet, and I’ve been playing on the eSports team since I came to UAT two years ago,” said Alex Orzescu, a Game Programming student who’s been running the collegiate team since fall 2015.
If you can’t tell, the team takes League of Legends competition play very seriously. There’s not really a dedicated coach, but everyone looks to the person who takes it the most seriously and that is definitely Alex.
“I’m hyper competitive. I’ve swam my whole life and I’m trying to implement tactics my coaches used from my past life as a swimmer,” said Alex. “I would love to coach eSports, but for right now I play more than I coach. In the future, I want to get my rank high enough to be credible because I would love to pursue eSports coaching as my ultimate life goal down the road.”
A players rank and the team rank are important in competitive League of Legends play. If nothing else, your rank helps other players get an idea of your skill level. Ranks range from Bronze as beginner to Gold as an intermediate player and Challenger as an expert. Challenger is top 200 North America, Diamond is top >1%, Master is top >0.1%. Platinum is top 10%. The majority of League of Legends players are Bronze and Silver.
“Our ranks don’t reflect our skill level at all. Teams underestimate us, but we absolutely demolish them on a team level and they dont expect it,” Alex said. “There’s no reason to not exploit the strengths you have as a team.
Many teams ‘play the meta’ which is a style of play focusing on the best of the best, but it tends to overlook individual players talents.”
In the competitive world of Collegiate eSports, Alex says you know everyone you’re playing against by their first name. As a team, they watch the competition to see how other teams compete under pressure. They also review their own videos to critique and break down areas needed for improvement.
Most people play video games for entertainment, but to Team That’s Suboptimal, “if you’re having fun while playing as a team, you’re doing it wrong.”
“We derive fun in the game from winning. I don’t care how dreadful the game was for a win, everyone else shares the same view in a team atmosphere. We need to improve this skill or else we won’t win. We’re only concerned with what we need to do to win right now, in the moment,” Alex said.
UAT technically has two teams competing with five players each. Think of That’s Suboptimal as the Varsity team and there is also B League team, which all stem from the UAT eSports Club.
In a local Dreamleague competition, the B team placed 17th (of 35) and the A team took 5th through 8th place. After much practice – team and solo, they are ready for the match this weekend.
“Heading into the next match, it’s important to only focus on the next thing, anything else is irrelevant, everything else will subconsciously ruin preparation for the upcoming match by looking too far into the future. We need to prepare for both, in the scope of preparation, we only focus on the current team and what we need to do to beat this team right now.”
Here’s a message from eSports Commentator James Chen, who recently visited UAT to speak to students.
“When it comes to competing in eSports, while it’s always good to have the eye on the prize, it’s also important to make sure you take the opportunity to notice the road there. As the underdog team, I’m sure you’ve already surprised many and surpassed expectations. However, the important thing to learn is the experience. Soak it in. Get used to the feel of competition. Think about the times when you were able to work as a team to overcome some sort of surprise obstacle. And remember what it feels like to win.
I say this because it’s not over. Even after this competition ends, there’s a lot of potential to keep moving forward, to keep striving for victory in the next competition and the next and the next after that! So the experience you’ve gained has been invaluable. The more you feel the competitive atmosphere, the more used to it you’ll be. Know that you can overcome surprise obstacles again like you have in the past. Remember how you felt when you won so you’ll want to feel that again.
And as long as you keep viewing it that way, win or lose the experience will be worth it. The memories will last and carry you even into the workplace and beyond. It’s a great time, so make sure you soak it in. And go out there and keep surprising people until they’re no longer surprised that you’re winning!”
You can read more in the previous blog post:
Good luck to the eSports team!