Collegiate Starleague

Four Huge Takeaways from the Peach Belt Playoffs

20 Mar , 2018  

Over the past weekend, the inaugural season for the Peach Belt Conference came to its conclusion. Despite there only being one champion, two teams came out victorious, both notching spots in the Play-Ins for a chance at reaching the National Championship in Los Angeles. Today, we look at which team is feeling peachy after winning a championship, and how the other avenged a regular season defeat.

 

#2 Augusta University Jaguars vs. #3 Georgia College Bobcats (Semifinal #2)

GC wins series 2-0

Game 1 — 24:44

Blue: AU — 6 // 31.8k

Red: GC — 19 // 50.5k

Game 2 — 27:56

Blue: GC — 21 // 56.9k

Red: AU — 9 // 39.3k

  1.  Georgia College was out for revenge. This dominant series win by the Bobcats is a statement well-needed after dropping their regular season match against Augusta. In Week 3, the Jaguars just snuck by the Bobcats with the help of a couple crucial team fights. This time around, the Bobcats steamrolled their competition with ease. If Georgia College keeps this type of play up, they might be able to surprise some teams in the Play-Ins.
  2. “GC Delor” earned Player of the Series. The Bobcats trusted their ADC to carry in both games, creating team compositions that allowed all lanes to either protect or tank for him. With all the weight on his shoulders, Delor came through. In two games, the Bobcats’ carry racked up a 19/2/14 KDA on Xayah and Vayne. Being able to identify their win condition and execute to perfection is why Georgia College has earned their Play-In spot.

 

#1 University of North Georgia Nighthawks vs. #3 Georgia College Bobcats (Grand Final)

UNG wins series 3-1

 

Game 1 — 24:28

Blue: UNG — 15 // 43.8k

Red: GC — 6 // 34.9

Game 2 — 28:26

Blue: GC — 11 // 41.6k

Red: UNG — 14 // 55.7k

Game 3 — 45:38

Blue: UNG — 20 // 78.0k

Red: GC — 42 // 85.8k

Game 4 — 23:35

Blue: GC — 5 // 33.2k

Red: UNG — 27 // 49.3k

  1. North Georgia is mortal. UNG did not drop a single game during the regular season, Quarterfinals, and Semifinals. After Game 2 of Grand Finals, they had tallied a 24-game win streak against Peach Belt opponents. That win streak finally snapped after being memed to death in Game 3. Yes, you read that correctly, memed to death. The Georgia College Avengers drafted one of the most obscure, off-meta team compositions of the year, with Volibear in top lane, Udyr in jungle, and Kai’sa at ADC, to propel them to victory. UNG was not able to contain Delor, who went 18/6/13 on Kai’sa, resulting in their downfall.
  2. The loss does not hurt North Georgia at all. Despite dropping a game, North Georgia is still a team that needs to really be considered a dark horse for the Play-Ins. Throughout the PBC season and playoffs, North Georgia demonstrated their strong ability to win through all three lanes, adapt to the meta, execute thorough pick/ban phases, and have strong macro-play. While the competition for UNG is different from a Texas A&M (South #1), SFU (West #1), or Columbia College (MO) (North #1), showing that you steamroll through most of your games with ease boasts lots of promise. If teams do not respect UNG in Play-Ins, we could see the Peach Belt represented in LA this summer.

 

Effects of the Peach Belt Conference

Even though the Peach Belt Conference has been brushed off due to weaker teams and not having the publicity of the primary regions, the conference did make an impact in its inaugural year of collegiate esports. 

Following the entry of this  second NCAA conference in the esports space, a third is looking to enter the fray. Reported last week, the Big East Conference will host an independent invitational tournament for Rocket League and League of Legends with broadcasted Finals in mid-April for schools within their conference. While this has no ties to Riot’s National Championship, this is still another Division I conference recognizing esports and establishing legitimate events.

The Peach Belt Conference is the NCAA’s second conference to run an invitational tournament that feeds into Riot Games’ collegiate national title bracket. – Image Credit: Peach Belt Twitter

 

Even if schools do not get their conference to help establish official conference invitationals in esports, students are being inspired and taking matters into their own hands. Schools within the Pac-12 have created a student-ran independent league to mimic the likes of the PBC and promote esports. Schools within the SEC are in attempt to do the same. Having established precedents for these student-lead invitationals will surely make waves and create a bright future for collegiate esports.

With the first Peach Belt season being officially over, there are a lot of positives and successes to look back on! The Peach Belt will continue to be represented by the University of North Georgia and Georgia College in the Play-Ins for the National Championship, and in the spirit of March Madness, one of them might just turn some heads at the top of the collegiate game.

 

Do you think one of these teams will make it to the National Championship? What was your favorite part about the PBC? Be sure to follow CSL on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with all things collegiate esports! With Regional Semifinals coming up this weekend, be on the lookout for previews, links fo the streams, and more!

George Crook is a Junior Interdisciplinary Studies major at Mississippi State University, with concentrations in Sports Studies and Public Relations. Alongside being a Staff Writer for the Collegiate Starleague, he also works as a Marketing Intern within the university’s Athletic Department. You can find him on Twitter @gcrook__.

For more on collegiate eSports check out https://cstarleague.com/

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