The Emory eSports “Overwatch” team emerged from its April 15 matches holding the 36th spot out of 286 North American collegiate teams with a match record of 3-1. Emory’s team, “The Bench,” closed the second week of the Tespa Spring Series with a loss against North Carolina State University (NC State)’s “RageComicEnthusiasts” and a win against University of California, Santa Barbara, (UCSB)’s “Yang Gang.”

Senior team captain Peter “HEAT” Steinberg said that, after facing NC State in previous years, they were prepared for characters that the other team often played, such as Widowmaker.

“Strategically, you need to be making sure that people were really more aware of sightlines and that fact that if you poke your head out at the wrong time you’ll die from across the map,” Steinberg said of approaching Widowmaker.

Steinberg said that they used their dive composition, which features players diving into the enemy team to focus on specific targets, but their main issue was that NC State did not end up running Widowmaker.

“They got us in that regard,” Steinberg said. “We prepped for the wrong thing. They had a little bit of an advantage in that extent.”

Emory lost the first map, Illios, ending the NC State series with a 0-2 loss. The Eagles suffered another 2-3 loss on the map Anubis. Though the team managed to take Anubis to a second round, their defense on Point A fell apart when NC State finally pulled out their Widowmaker. With no hero in their composition to immediately counter the Widowmaker, player mobility was limited, and the Eagles were unable to make it back from the spawn point in time to defend the point.

Senior Albert “Apsire” Seoh said that, of the two teams played, NC State was the stronger competitor.

“We hadn’t gotten enough practice directly beforehand,” Seoh said. “Some of us weren’t quite in the right mindset, and some of us, like myself, weren’t properly warmed up. The team didn’t quite click until the second match.”

After their loss, the Eagles’ luck turned around as they logged a 2-1 win against UCSB.

“The communication was a lot better,” Seoh said. “Right after we finished our first match, we [played] some Quickplay [mode] just to work things out. … Part of it was also that we weren’t as afraid to try different [compositions].”

The Eagles swept the series against UCSB’s “Yang Gang” with a 2-1 map count. In the first map, Oasis, Emory captured City Center but was unable to take Gardens or University in the following rounds, ending with a 2-1 loss. The Eagles put an end to their losing streak on Volskaya, a 2 Capture Point map. Emory put up a strong defense on the map and won 2-1, ending the series with a 3-2 victory on the third map, Hollywood.

“The Bench” prepares for the third week of the tournament, which starts on April 22. Matches can be viewed online at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sundays.

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