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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

COD destroys Cumberland Esports in CCL grand finals to become regional champions

Hailey Womack / Hilltop Views
The team celebrates with Head Coach Sterling Henderson after their win. “You know, Sterling gave me the opportunity to come here, been some of the best moments of my life, memories that I’ll remember forever,” Muccio said. “(I’m) glad I can do it for him.”

St. Edward’s Call of Duty team finished their College CoD League (CCL) regular season in third place in the Division I Southeast region with a 13-2 record. For the Southeast regional playoffs, they squared off against two teams on April 6 to qualify for the grand finals. First, they battled against Newberry Esports, which stood at a 14-1 record — and St. Edward’s won 3-2. The Hilltoppers then played against the undefeated regular season Cumberland in the Winners Finals and also secured a victory of 3-2. With two wins under their belt for the regional playoffs, they advanced to the grand finals and once again faced Cumberland.

The gameplay remains the same as the regular season: the two teams take turns playing three different playstyles and the first team to win three matches takes the win.

Esports Head Coach Sterling Henderson (center) poses with the Call of Duty team after they became regional champions. Henderson has been the Head Coach for Esports since the 2019-2020 school year. (Hailey Womack)

First, they played Hardpoint on the map Skidrow. Cumberland got the first Hardpoint hold, attaining 17 points before St. Edward’s captured. Lucas “Ballah” Muccio grabbed the next Hardpoint hold to take the lead up to 61-32. Hilltoppers regained control of the Hardpoint with David “Eons” Sauseda holding to break 100 points. Mauricio “Thresh” Pallares then controlled Hardpoint to get SEU to 117 points, and Eons captured after the location change to bring the score to 138-55. Cumberland then started to chip away at St. Edward’s lead, but couldn’t stop the Hilltoppers, as they took the match with a final score of 250-200. Eons topped the leaderboard with 27 kills and a 118 time capturing the Hardpoint.

In Search & Destroy, teams take turns either attacking or defending two given points on the map. Each player is given only one life with no respawns, and the first team to win six rounds wins the match. St. Edward’s lost the first match after running out of lives. Eons obtained the first kill, known as “First Blood” and later planted a bomb on point “A”. Thresh secured a double kill to win the round. In the third round, Johnny “Vanity” Albano was last alive against Cumberland but wasn’t able to obtain the win. Eons once again got First Blood in the following round, planted point “A” and Thresh acquired the final kill to tie up the rounds at 2-2. Eons was the last alive in the next round and lost. Ballah obtained First Blood and the team went on to win, once again tying up the rounds 3-3. Thresh took the final kill to win the seventh round. They then lost two consecutive rounds. In the final round, Ballah was last alive in the final seconds, but couldn’t plant the bomb in time to win. They lost Search & Destroy 6-4. Thresh topped the leaderboard with 10 overall kills.

David “Eons” Sauseda and Johnny “Vanity” Albano hug after their victory. The two have been playing Call of Duty together for St. Edward’s for three years. (Hailey Womack)

The third playstyle, Control, is similar to playstyle Hardpoint — teams must either capture or defend two points, “A” and “B,” on the map without running out of respawns. Each team is given 30 respawns for the match. A team must gain three round wins to win the match. On the map Karachi, Eons drew First Blood and Vanity obtained a 5-kill killstreak, but Cumberland captured point “A” and St. Edward’s lost the match. In the second round, Vanity secured point “B,” and the team later secured point “A,” to win and tie up 1-1. In the successive round, Thresh drew a double kill, but the teams were matched pretty evenly as respawn counts remained about even for both teams. Cumberland captured both points to win the round and gain a 2-1 lead against St. Edward’s. Vanity secured “B” in the following round, and St. Edward’s won after eliminating all enemy lives. Tied up 2-2, Ballah hit the ground running with an early 5-kill killstreak and Hilltoppers secured both points to win 3-2. Thresh and Vanity led the leaderboard with 28 kills each.

Next, the teams replayed playstyle Hardpoint on map Rio. They took an early capture, and Vanity secured a double kill while protecting the Hardpoint area to extend their lead 72-1. They continued holding off Hardpoint attacks to further their lead to 127-12. St. Edward’s broke 200 points while Cumberland had yet to hit 100. Eons and Vanity kept chanting “one more hold, boys” in a thrilling finish. St. Edward’s held on to the lead to win against Cumberland 250-117. Eons topped the leaderboard with 18 kills and a 1:48 time in Hardpoint. Ballah had 26 kills and a 1:12 time in Hardpoint. The Hilltoppers won against Cumberland 3-1.

The team now advances to the Championship Playoffs and will play three matches in pool play before moving on to bracket play.

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About the Contributor
Hailey Womack
Hailey Womack, News Editor
Hailey Womack is a junior English major with a minor in Journalism & Digital Media. This is her third semester with Hilltop Views and her first year as News Editor. She's very passionate about the Austin area, as she has been a native all of her life. When not reading romantic period books, she enjoys playing basketball.

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