San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Aztec Gaming hosts the first-ever competition in the Esports Engagement Center

Despite technical challenges, most competitions were successful for the esports club
Christie Yeung
SDSU’s “Splatoon” team – Carne Inksada Fries – (from left) Jason “Cookie” Tran, Lupita “Kablamoshi” Tello, Christopher “Dashing” Konz and Alondra “StupidStrawberry” Chula compete with the Imperial Valley College Diamond Rays in the Esports Engagement Center on Sunday, Dec. 3, with Lorenzo “Seyer” Mestido and Bernard “BarnYard” Bausa watching in the back. Carne Inksada Fries lost to the Diamond Rays 4-2.

The Esports Engagement Center held its first events on Saturday, Dec. 2 through Sunday, Dec. 3.

Aztec Gaming invited teams from UC San Diego, CSU Long Beach and Imperial Valley College — along with other teams within the club — to compete.

They planned to play against each other in “League of Legends,” “Rocket League,” “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” “Overwatch 2,” “Counter-Strike 2,” “Splatoon 3,” “Valorant” and “Street Fighter 6.” However, the “League of Legends” game was canceled due to unforeseen circumstances.

With prizes at stake, the competitive spirit was high as the two-day event kicked off with “Rocket League.”

According to the Colleague’s postseason ranking, San Diego State University was ranked no. 29 in this college league as of Nov. 20, while CSULB was in the Top 48 on the list. The game’s result, though, did not reflect the ranking as CSULB swept SDSU (4-0) in the best-of-seven match.

Although the result was not what the team looked for, Noah Prabakaran (also known as “Npleb”) captain of the Rocket League team, was happy to play at the new center.

“It was a good time, even though (we) didn’t win. It was a lot of fun,” Prabakaran said.

While the Rocket League match was happening, “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” took the stage, with SDSU taking on the favored-to-win UCSD.

SDSU defied the odds and won with the final score of 5-0. In this game, each team had five players and each player had three lives. Both teams began with a score of 15-15 and whichever takes the opponents’ lives down to zero wins the match.

Unfortunately, before the “Overwatch 2” match against UCSD started, a few of the computers stopped working due to technical difficulties.

But instead of canceling the match, players from SDSU were sent home to play, while players from UCSD stayed at the center and used the remaining functioning computers to improvise.

SDSU’s Rocket League team, Preston “Dawg” Christian, Noah “Npleb” Prabakaran and Kyle “Akenio” Markel takes on CSU Long Beach in the Esports Engagement Center on Saturday, Dec. 2. Christian and Prabakaran bumped fists after scoring a goal, however, the team lost to CSULB 4-0. (Christie Yeung)

After some delay, the best-of-five match finally began. The teams started the match in a “control” map, which UCSD won despite SDSU putting up a good fight.

Following that, they played on a “hybrid” map and the match went on to overtime with UCSD narrowly escaping to lead the match 2-0 overall. After that, UCSD carried on with the momentum and took the third map to win the match 3-0 and complete another sweep.

The first day of the competition ended with SDSU winning one and losing two. Due to technical difficulties that could not be fixed over the weekend, all of the competitions that were played on computers were moved to play remotely.

On day two, SDSU took on CSULB in “Counter-Strike 2.” CSULB handled business and won 2-0 to take the best-of-three match.

Following “Counter-Strike 2” was “Splatoon 3,” a best-of-seven series between SDSU and Imperial Valley College.

IVC took an early 2-0 lead, but SDSU fought hard to take one back to trail 2-1. Then, SDSU and IVC would exchange wins in the next three maps, with IVC taking the decisive fourth victory to win the game, 4-2.

Christopher Konz (also known as “Dashing”), one of Aztec Gaming’s coordinators and graphic designers, said that it was a tough loss for the team because they had just lost in the Collegiate Cephalopod Association Division II Championships before this event.

“It’s a little frustrating losing twice in a row because we just had our grand finals in the collegiate league we play in — but it’s still great to see IVC,” Konz said. “They’re our main rival, and we always love spending time with them.”

Konz also noted how the Esports Engagement Center was a great addition to the school.

“I know that a lot of people are frustrated with the fact that it replaced the quiet study, but I think it’s nice,” Konz said. “After the renovations are supposed to happen over (the) summer, I think it’s going to be a great space to just come hang out.”

Then it was time for the Valorant showdown between the Aztec Gaming teams: SDSU Black versus SDSU Red.

SDSU Black are the first team players, and they were expected to win, so it was no surprise when they swept SDSU Red, 2-0, in the best-of-three game.

The crowd gathers to watch the “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” showdown with SDSU against favored to win UCSD on Saturday, Dec. 2 in the Esports Engagement Center. SDSU managed to upset UCSD with the final score of 5-0. (Christie Yeung)

The last game in this two-day event was “Street Fighter 6,” with SDSU going against UCSD.

SDSU was chasing from the start — after going down 2-0, they managed to tie the game at 2-2. However, UCSD would take the lead and not look back, winning 5-3 to take this 5-vs-5 crew battle.

Despite some of the disappointing results from the games played during the two-day event, there was still a lot to be celebrated.

It was the first time the center held an event, and although there were technical issues, it was still a successful community event for gamers and students alike to play and watch video games.

Aztec Gaming president, Kyle Markel — also known as “Akenio” in “Rocket League” — said that he was happy about how the event turned out.

“I think it went better than we expected… there were definitely a lot of hiccups, but I was also given precautions beforehand and so we just made the best of what we were given,” Markel said. “(I think for the future) since we’ll have more time to plan out our streaming and all the events and timings,  I think it’ll be better and run more smoothly.”

As for what the future holds for this room, Markel said the next competition will be held next fall.

However, the club’s next big event will be held in spring on April 20 in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

About the Contributor
Christie Yeung, Photographer
Born in Hong Kong, Christie Yeung is a first-generation transfer student who majors in journalism at San Diego State University. Prior to arriving at SDSU, she served as the Gaming/Tech Editor, Features Editor and Managing Editor of SAC Media at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California where she was placed in on-the-spot competitions such as fourth in News photo, second in Portrait photo, first in Sports photo, first in Social Media and second in News writing, along with a meritorious mention in the Enterprise News Story/Series category from Journalism Association of Community Colleges. She was also awarded second in Best Breaking News Stories by the California College Media Association. During her free time, she likes to watch European soccer games, read, listen to Cantonese-pop music and play video games and Dungeons & Dragons with her online friends. She also has a sweet tooth and cannot turn away anything with Nutella in it.