College Esports Match Of The Week: Harrisburg v. Western Ontario
This week’s match of the week takes us to the CLOL East Conference finals where Harrisburg University took on the University of Western Ontario. The Harrisburg Storm are a powerhouse at the moment, but the Western Legends are also past conference winners and a strong program in their own right. So how’d it go? Let’s dive in.
Game 1: Slow and Steady Wins the Race
The first game was marked by a slow and steady pace. Harrisburg made a few moves early on, trying to set up some early kills that just fell flat. Poor timing with the minion waves or missed skillshots just didn’t allow HU to capitalize. Harrisburg did eventually secure first blood around the 12 minute mark to give you an idea of the pacing.
UWO stormed back in the mid-game. While Harrisburg continued to focus on turrets and objectives, the Western Legends secured themselves four kills and started to get their Tristana fed. It paid off immediately too, as Sleepylinks popped off for a triple kill en route to an ace to give Western firm control of the game.
An impressive baron-sneak by Harrisburg helped them get back into things and while the game ended up closer than it should have been, Western would not be denied. In the end, they won out on the base race and UWO takes game one.
Game 2: This Looks Familiar
The early game of game 2 looked mighty similar to game 1. Despite an earlier first blood, the early game was very slow and methodical. Harrisburg was better in terms of CS and objective control, allowing them to build a 3K gold lead despite the score being 1-0.
The mid-game saw the engine stall a bit for Harrisburg. Unlike game 1, Western didn’t manage to take control of the game, but the Storm struggled to increase their lead any. A disappointing rift herald, and a lost dragon objective lead to Western Ontario clawing back into the game.
The action start picking up in the late mid-game, as both teams exchanged a number of kills and objectives. Both teams failed to secure baron as the blood bath wore on. A bad engagement by Harrisburg at 30 minutes lead to 3 kills for Western, and a baron. A few minutes later, Western Ontario took the nexus and secured game 2.
Game 3: Match point
Game 3 started much the same way that games 1 and 2 did. Harrisburg jumped out to the lead, pushing a 2k gold lead through the early game. Unlike the first couple games however, they managed to snowball their lead into the mid game. Western Ontario got three straight drakes, but fell back by 5k gold at 17 minutes.
Harrisburg remained methodical, playing a very standard North American style. Don’t take chances. Focus objectives. Get a couple kills every skirmish and move on to the next fight. Western Ontario was unable to battle back in this one, giving Harrisburg their first win of the series and forcing a game 4.
Game 4: The Tables Turn
Game 4 marked the first time that Harrisburg didn’t dominate the early game. UWO kept the game very even through the first 10 minutes, taking a 3-1 kill lead even as they trailed in gold and dragons.
The game remained close through the mid game, with each team trading some kills and objectives. The gold differential was only 2k at 20 minutes to give you an idea. Patient play by UWO saw them solo dragon while keeping Harrisburg from taking the Baron. A massive team-fight broke out then in which UWO crushed Harrisburg.
All credit to Western Ontario who set up a forced teamfight around Cloud Drake. It resulted in cloud soul, two kills, and a baron buff. It didn’t take long after that for Western Ontario to close out the match and complete the upset of Harrisburg University.
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