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The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

COD in top six national rankings after win, loss amid national CCL playoffs

Hailey Womack / Hilltop Views
Between the two games, Mauricio “Thresh” Pallares rewatches their first match against Newberry Esports on Twitch. You can find their past broadcasts of the Championship Playoff games on Twitch at @CollegeCoD.

The St. Edward’s Call of Duty team plays their next matches in the College CoD League’s (CCL) Championship Playoffs today after advancing from the pool play into the bracket play. On top of becoming the Division I Southeast Regional Champions during the Regional Playoffs last week, David “Eons” Sauseda also got the number one ranked play from the CCL.

“It feels good,” Sauseda said. “You work really hard towards something that not a lot of people can understand. And not a lot of people can, more importantly, understand why you put so much time into it. But at the end of the day, having something that helps with my tuition costs and gave me the opportunity, and me finally being able to win a regional title means a lot, and it means a lot more especially because I’m surrounded by three of the same people who I came here with. And three of the same people who took the same risk of changing their state and for Mau (Pallares) even leaving their country for an opportunity that not a lot of people knew about.”

Following a bit of a debacle, as multiple teams were banned from competing due to in-game suspensions from Activision, St. Edward’s advanced to the first seed in the playoff bracket. For their first round of matches, they played against two teams: Newberry College and Oklahoma Christian University.


First, the team squared off against Newberry Esports, playing Hardpoint on map Karachi for the first round. Newberry took the first hold, with Mauricio “Thresh” Pallares quickly running defense to eliminate players and regain the Hardpoint. Johnny “Vanity” Albano helped Thresh to secure the area, and they accumulated 18 points before Vanity held on his own to gain 30. Lucas “Ballah” Muccio supported Vanity, and the two held for a lead of 71-63. Thresh then gained a 5-kill killstreak. Newberry then held to take the lead but Eons swiftly recaptured and grabbed a double kill while defending, solidifying the lead past 100 points before Thresh defended the Hardpoint up to 139. Eons grabbed the next capture but was killed. Thresh defended once again for 154 and later grabbed a double kill while defending Vanity’s Hardpoint hold. Eons seized the next location change with support from Ballah, while Thresh and Vanity defended from a higher vantage point to get to 211 points. Newberry then started dismantling St. Edward’s lead. Right as Newberry tied up to 211, Eons contested the Hardpoint and Ballah obtained a full-team multi-kill allowing for a slim St. Edward’s victory at 250-212. Ballah topped the leaderboard with 23 kills and a 1:31 time in Hardpoint.

Next was Search & Destroy, where each team gets one life and takes turns either defending or attacking two bomb sites, played on map Rio. Hilltoppers eliminated all four enemy players in the first round but couldn’t defuse their planted bombs, resulting in a lost round. They bounced back in the next round: Ballah planted, Vanity grabbed the first kill, known as “First Blood”, and Eons was the last player alive, killing his opponent to even up the score. Eons then grabbed the final kill in the subsequent round. In the fourth round, Eons secured First Blood and proceeded to gain a 5-kill killstreak, and the team eliminated all players again to go up 3-1. Hilltoppers then lost the two following rounds, tying the game up at 3-3 round wins. The tide changed once Vanity grabbed First Blood and the team eliminated all enemies to regain their lead, and then won the next two consecutive rounds for a lead of 5-3. In the ninth round, Ballah was last alive but got killed in the final seconds while defusing an enemy’s planted bomb. Ballah planted point “A,” Thresh obtained First Blood and Ballah secured the final kill to grab another St. Edward’s win at 6-4. Eons was first on the leaderboard with 13 kills, and Ballah had seven kills and four plants.

The third playstyle, Control, was played on map Karachi. In the first round, Hilltoppers were defending, and after losing point “A,” Thresh held his ground, grabbing a triple kill to defend the site and eliminating enemies to win the first round. The team switched up their tactics in the second round, targeting point “B” first instead of their usual point “A,” but ultimately lost after running out of lives. They lost the following round after Newberry captured both points. They switched back to the normal gameplan: attacking point “A” first. Ballah secured point “A,” and the team made a group effort to capture point “B,” culminating in a St. Edward’s round win. Eons and Ballah secured about half of point “A” while Thresh obtained another 5-kill killstreak. Although Vanity finished securing “A,” the team ultimately ran out of lives. They lost the playstyle 3-2. Thresh led the leaderboard with 31 kills, while Ballah had 27 kills and seven captures.

For the tiebreaker round, the teams replayed playstyle Hardpoint on map Sub Base. Thresh, Ballah and Vanity had consecutive holds to gain 64 points before Newberry retaliated with 40. With Thresh’s support, Ballah grabbed the next hold, and then Eons and Vanity rotated to the next location to hold until they were killed. Ballah grabbed the next hold gaining 113-106. Thresh got a few longshots to clear the Hardpoint while Vanity held. Thresh then grabbed a double kill to hold off attackers while Eons held. Then, Thresh hit a triple kill and a 5-kill killstreak. Thresh held while Ballah also got a 5-kill killstreak, and Eons had the final hold to win against Newberry 250-165. Ballah topped the leaderboard with 24 kills and a 95-seconds time. Hilltoppers won against Newberry with an overall 3-1 score. Watch the past broadcast of the game on CCL’s Twitch.

Before and after each game, the team has a cascading line of fistbumps as their ritual. Thresh extends his arm to Ballah after the team conquered Newberry Esports in their first match of the Championship Playoffs. (Hailey Womack)


Two hours later, St. Edward’s played against Oklahoma Christian University (OCU). Before the match, Eons reiterated that no matter how it went, the team should remain proud of how far they’ve come.

Starting with Hardpoint on map Rio, Eons grabbed the First Blood, but Oklahoma held the first Hardpoint location to get a 25-1 lead. OCU took the next location to further their lead up to 51 points. Thresh grabbed a double kill while Eons and Vanity held the Hardpoint with Ballah to amass a 112-95 lead. Vanity obtained another double kill, but OCU seized the next Hardpoint location. Eons emphasized for the team remaining focused on their next rotation. Ballah obtained Hardpoint up to 134 and switched with Eons, who held shortly before dying. Then Ballah rotated, and Vanity avenged Eons’ death to get 168. Thresh got a double kill while Ballah held, and Thresh continued to dominate Oklahoma while emphasizing that the team must stay together. Eons got up to 210, Thresh and Vanity ambushed Hardpoint while Eons took the lead up to 234-228. Oklahoma eliminated the team, and their respawns were too far away to contest or recapture the Hardpoint, causing them to lose the round in the final seconds. The final score was a tight 250-238.

They continued into the next match to play Search & Destroy on map Karachi. The first round was a quick elimination of enemy players by St. Edward’s. However, the Hilltoppers lost the following three rounds. In the fifth round, Thresh obtained First Blood and Ballah grabbed the final kill for St. Edward’s to go 3-2. The Hilltoppers couldn’t get an edge on Oklahoma and continued to lose the following three rounds. They lost the match 6-2.

Control on map Highrise was the final playstyle of the night. Thresh grabbed a double kill early before helping secure a point. Ballah grabbed a triple kill, and with 11 seconds left on the clock, Eons solidified the lead by capturing “B,” adding an additional minute to the clock. The Hilltoppers got an 11-4 lead on lives, and Ballah captured point “A” for a Hilltopper win. They then lost the following three rounds, getting close but not enough to capture a lead. They lost Search & Destroy 3-1.

After the loss to Oklahoma, Eons remained confident in the team and set their sights for their next game on Monday.

“We don’t play the game as much as them and saying that is kind of, we (have) to be hard on ourselves and realize that at the end of the day, no one’s going to be able to capitalize on their mistakes besides us,” Eons said. “And we have to refine ourselves throughout this next week and learn from our loss and come back (as) the stronger team that I know we can be, and that we’ve shown the last three years that we always have a lot of resilience. And we are currently top six right now, which we’ve placed the last two years. So we’re looking to break that curse and hopefully end up with a top three, top four, maybe winning the whole damn thing.”

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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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