The STC eSports varsity team suffered a disheartening loss to 2020 State Champions Waterloo East High (WEH) on Tuesday, September 27th.
Even if hopes weren’t very high at first, Roman Hill still used this duel with WEH as a lesson for future games. “I came in with low expectations [since] This is a top state team. We started [in Week 1] Battle [the] Second in the state [and] that was not very pleasant. You won’t like losing, but you’ll have to live with it. Personally, I’ve never played Smash Bros., maybe once or twice with friends, and I’m just learning, as are a lot of other people.”
Caleb Cosgrove started the tournament with Game 1 at Pokemon Stadium when Cloud took on WEH’s Joker. Cosgrove fought head to head and was able to knock out WEH twice before succumbing to defeat in Match 1.
Corbin Bergmann defeated Lil Mac and eventually defeated Joker in a series of punches resulting in a victory for STC in Match 2.
In Match 3, Bergmann confronted King Dedede and took one of his lives. After respawning, WEH went to Edge Camping to help them KO Bergmann and took the match from STC.
While the entire STC was frustrated with WEH’s edge camping strategy, Johna Houghton saw an opportunity for his team to hone their skills. “We’re trying to step up our groin guard and find a way to get back on stage because those are the main departments where we’re struggling.”
Samuel Heck jumped into the arena in Match 4 and selected King K. Rool to face WEH, but was chased out of the stadium twice by King Dedede. Heck later suffered an instant death without taking the life of any of his opponents.
In Match 5, Roman Hill reinforced with Sephiroth and took a notch from WEH with a quick Blade Dash knock-up followed by another swing, sending King Dedede out of the arena. With King Dedede only one life left, Hill felt the pressure and was knocked out of the arena twice in a row, resulting in another win for WEH.
In Match 6, Wade Cosgrove selected Kazuya hoping the Tekken fighter would give him an advantage over King Dedede. Early in the game, King Dedede made idle use of his inhale ability, but Cosgrove didn’t fall for the tactic. Cosgrove was knocked off the platform by King Dedede’s Gordo throw, but quickly recovered. Unfortunately, Cosgrove lost two lives to WEH before finally executing King Dedede, giving STC their second win in game one.
In Match 7, WEH pulled out Zelda against Cosgrove’s Kazuya with just one life left. Cosgrove landed a multi-combo hit that knocked Zelda off the stage. WEH was just able to return to the platform when Cosgrove went into a Dash Attack, knocking WEH off the platform and taking Zelda’s first life. WEH respawned and quickly returned to the fight, using Naryu’s Love ability to knock out Kazuya, giving WEH the first game against STC 5-2.
In Game 2, the teams competed on the Small Battle Field, with Corbin challenging Bergman Lil Mac against WEH’s Kazuya. Bergmann landed some quick hits, costing WEH two lives, but suffered a crushing defeat.
Jonah Houghton felt the heat when he hopped into the arena as a wild card in Match 2. With only one life remaining, WEH kept Joker on the ledge throughout the match, but Houghton’s recovery skills kept him in the match for a while longer before Kazuya landed an execution, followed by a body slam that cost two of Joker’s lives. With only one life left, Houghton continued to dodge and block WEH’s moves until Kazuya landed a solid punch and Houghton sailed.
With two losses so far in Game 2, Sam Heck came into contact with King R Rool, landing WEH one big punch after another and defeating Kazuya within the first minute, giving STC the win with two lives remaining for King R Rool.
In Match 4, WEH brought out Cloud against Heck’s King R Rool. The heavy hitter was no match for Cloud’s speed as he was knocked off screen twice, dealing little damage to Cloud in exchange. With one life remaining, Heck dodged lunge after lunge from WEH and twice recovered from fatal blows, but was pushed out of the arena when Cloud followed him off the platform.
With just one win in four games, Jerome Kapayou took out Kirby in hopes of giving Cloud an advantage. Kapayou failed to deal damage to WEH for the first 30 seconds, but moments later he landed Hammer Hit after Stone Smash on Cloud, causing his opponent’s first death. Kapayou tried to keep the momentum going by dodging and slipping out of Cloud’s holds, but he wasn’t fast enough for WEH and lost the matchup.
In the final match, Caleb Cosgrove tested his own cloud skills against WEH. The twin fighters traded sword slashes and punches, each recovering blow after blow until WEH followed up with a kick, Blade Beam costing Cosgrove’s first life. With the Match Deaths tied 1-1, Cosgrove attempted to make amends in round two, but after a successful recovery, WEH quickly landed a Cross Slash Execute. With one life remaining, Cosgrove felt the panic set in as he frantically dodged and slashed at his opponent, landing several health punches and putting him in the red. WEH pushed back, landing another execution on Cosgrove and finishing the second game 1-5.
Coach Mike Carnahan understands his players are discouraged after the WEH tournament, “Today’s game was a bit bumpy because it was one of the best teams in Iowa. It makes it a bit difficult, but we’re persevering and enjoying playing the game. The other games we had [have] Get to the last players for both teams so they were really close. We just haven’t had the luck to get over the hill yet.”
He plans to continue helping STC Varsity eSports improve their smash skills as much as possible. “We keep discussing different strategies. We watch how other teams play against us. We’re at a disadvantage because we’re a bit understaffed. I don’t know much about Smash Bros. myself, so we rely on each other and the kids learn. At this point, it’s all about learning from experience.”
Cheer on STC Varsity eSports for their next tournament against Spirit Lake Community Schools at STC High School Commons on October 4 at 4:00 p.m.