LAWRENCE — After early termination of regular season College League of Legends play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, other tournament providers offered weekly tournaments. Jayhawk Esports participated in the third Battlefly/Riot tournament, coming through as the grand champions in a Cinderella story.
KU was seeded 16 for the tournament. In round 8, KU went 2-1 against the University of California-Irvine, the No. 1 seed and winners of the previous week’s tournament. After that win, the Jayhawks entered the grand finals against Arbor Esports of the University of Michigan, the No. 3 seed.
The grand final was a double, best-of-three match. In the first match against Arbor Esports, Jayhawk Esports went 2-1 in about 3 1/2 hours of play. Then the Jayhawks went 2-0 in the final best-of-three match to solidify the championship.
The team showed tenacity and a competitive drive that was prominent throughout the whole season, said Michelle Compton-Munoz, Jayhawk Esports program manager.
"I’m extremely proud of how the team played in this tournament. There were several moments where things didn’t go our way and they navigated it like a seasoned team,” Compton-Munoz said. "Their skills in strategic map play and communication were stronger in this tournament than the whole rest of the year, making me even more excited for what next year will look like.”
The 2020 team:
Dylan Whiddon, a freshman in biology from Wichita
Jarrett Zeliff; a sophomore in interdisciplinary computing from Lawrence
Shane Thompson, a junior in biochemistry from Lenexa
Tiger Ruan, a student in engineering from Wichita
Chenhui Liu a senior in mechanical engineering from Leawood
Dawson Rooney, a sophomore in computer science from Hays.
Chris Harris, owner of Anew Esports, is the team's head coach. Kruz Crosier is the assistant coach. Both are KU alumni.