The Ohio State Overwatch premier scarlet team will resume action in the TESPA split preseason tournament this Sunday.
The split tournament was meant to have 512 teams across the nation playing in it, allowing the Buckeyes to enter two premier teams with their 12 person roster. The gray and scarlet teams were made with the intention of front-loading the scarlet team with talent in hopes of moving forward in the tournament.
Abhishek Goyal, a fourth-year in computer science and engineering, said that the team had an understanding of what they wanted to do when forming these teams.
“We all had the kind of idea that what skill rating you are doesn’t really matter, you should still get a fair chance to compete in both the teams,” Goyal said.
Goyal, a newcomer to the premier team, acknowledged that there are varying skills amongst the 12-person roster, but there is no significant drop-off from one player to another.
“We realized that there’s some kind of skill difference and some kind of understanding difference of the game between everyone’s levels and that’s how the teams eventually separated,” Goyal said. “A high skill group was separated from a competitively lower skill group, not to say they were much lower, we are all really good players.”
The scarlet team had a bye in the first round and then swept their second-round matchup 2-0. The gray team also opened with a bye, but lost their second round matchup 2-1, therefore being eliminated from the bracket.
Both teams will continue to practice and scrimmage one another while also watching film of their previous matches to try and help improve on areas they may have faltered in their matches. Jake Blitch, a fourth-year in computer science and engineering and an analyst for the team, said these types of practices will be immensely helpful, especially for the scarlet team since it is filled with new players to competitive Overwatch team play.
Blitch said the team has improved through competition and practice.
“I think we’re doing really well. We’ve seen a lot of improvement in terms of our communication and understanding of the game,” Blitch said. “I think we still have potential to grow and show how good we are but I think we’ll be a very, very strong team.”
The scarlet team will have the opportunity to play two games, the first of which will be against Crimson Gaming, a top-128 team in the tournament this Sunday.
For a roster of six players that was formed no longer than a week ago, the team has proven themselves through prior competitions and scrimmages.
Lucas Lumbra, a fifth-year in computer information science and analyst for the premier team, said the team approaches each match similarly, no matter the opponent.
“Essentially, the mindset we bring into all of our matches is not look at, not think about [them] as for who they are, but as the best possible team they can be in that moment,” Lumbra said. “Take that same energy and that same motivation, no trash talking, stay focused, win with class.”
As chemistry grows stronger and competition begins to get stiffer, Goyal said he thinks this particular Ohio State team could be one of the best in the country and that the university has ever had.
“I think with the roster we have right now, and given enough practice, we could easily be one of the top collegiate teams in Overwatch in America,” Goyal said. “If we were given a few months of practice and a lot of [scrimmages] and a lot of competitions, we would easily come out on top and be one of the top teams.”