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Big wins for Miami e-sports send teams to playoffs

Michael Stemmler, The Miami Student

The Miami University Varsity E-Sports program came away with crucial wins last week, solidifing playoff spots for the Hearthstone and Overwatch teams. These victories are not uncommon for the RedHawks', as they have proven to be dominate during all of their games over the past two weeks.

The Miami Hearthstone Team has been dominating throughout the group stage of the Tespa League, and going into its Tuesday match, its seed as the number one team landed it a spot on Tespa's own national livestream of the top matches for that week.

Coming in with 3-0 match record and 9-2 game record, the RedHawks' took on the Case Western Spartans, resulting in a 3-0 game sweep for the Hawks'. With this win, Miami qualified for the Tespa playoffs and as caster Robert Wing said, "Miami U dismantled Case Western."

For the first game, Miami fielded a Control Warrior against the Spartans' Tempo Mage deck. Although this matchup gave Miami trouble against the University of Nebraska-Lincoln last week, an early game buff to Miami's armor ability gave it the means to tank many of CW's high damage dealing spells. This lead to late game fatigue for the Spartans, and ultimately the win for MU.

Surprisingly, during the second game Case Western played a Dragon Warrior deck against Miami's Malygos Druid. Although this matchup is usually unfavorable to Miami, the RedHawks took the second game in convincing fashion.

"I think we had some early ramp, which really helped allow us to get some of our early drops out quicker. We really just maintained an early game lead, which Dragon Warrior doesn't have a very good time getting back from," senior Mitch "Moonbear" Mazzei said.

For the third game, the two teams played a mirror Mid-Range Shaman matchup, where lucky starting draws and early game board control gave the win to Miami. With the sweep over the Spartans, Miami moved up to be the number one seed out of the 629 teams left in the Tespa tournament.

"I think we want to go all the way," senior captain Adam "Schmigly" Darwiche said. "We definitely want to make it to live finals in California and get a chance to represent the Miami Varsity E-Sports Program on a huge national stage. And past that, I think we are gunning for number one. We really think we have what it takes to go all the way and we want to do what we can to get there."

Miami's Hearthstone team will compete at 10:00 p.m. November 7 and 8 and can be watched at

Coming off of its first-round loss to Penn State's White team, the Miami Varsity Counter Strike: Global Offensive team defeated the Wilkes University Colonels on the map "Train" Saturday.

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After winning the knife round, the RedHawks' chose to start as the Counter Terrorists (CT) and after a half score of 9-6, Miami then took to the Terrorist (T) side. Here, MU dominated the Colonels, racking up seven points in a row, ending the game with a score of 16-6.

Wilkes simply could not compete at the same level as Miami. With members, such as freshman, Gavin "Rairai" Wooley racking up an impressive kill/death count of 29/9 and three other members on the team going positive with their kill/death ratio, the money was often in the hands of MU. While a 7-0 performance as the Terrorists on Train is often hard to pull off, since Train is one of the maps favored toward the Counter Terrorists, this came as no surprise for the 'Hawks.

"On our CT side during our scrims, we had a fairly average CT side [...], but our T side definitely stood out as our stronger side by far," sophomore Joey "Varanice" Gayda said. "[During the game] we had really good entries [...] so we would just play off of picks and get really good entries into sites, so we would be really well set up for the post [bomb] plants."

Miami's CS:GO team will next compete at 3:00 p.m. on November 5, and can be watched at

Coming off two successive wins, the Miami Varsity Overwatch team defeated the Colorado College Tigers with a 2-0 sweep Thursday. This victory locked in a playoff spot for the RedHawks.

For their first game on "Watchpoint: Gibraltar", Miami's solid defense prevented the Tiger's payload from reaching the first checkpoint. Once the Hawks' took to offense, Colorado took an interesting choice of hero, fielding Junkrat, which came as a shock to Miami's team.

"The purpose of Junkrat right now is to crank out a lot of damage really fast," freshman Tyler Fass said. "But, in theory, both Reaper and Hanzo are better picks for that. The problem is Hanzo is really hard to aim with [...], so they picked Junkrat because they couldn't play Hanzo. [...] Hanzo does the same role but better, and that is why we were surprised."

However, not even the Junkrat could stop Miami's offense, and on the map "Eichenwalde" a successful, last-minute push gave the Hawk's three points. For the Tigers, numerous unsuccessful tries and MU's solid defense prevented them from gaining any points, and sealed the 2-0 win for Miami.

Miami's Overwatch team will next compete at 10:00 p.m. on November 10, and can be watched at