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Kentucky Kernel

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Kentucky Kernel

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Akron wins Kentucky Esports Bluegrass Boost Battle

Members of the Kentucky Wildcats esports team compete in the 2023 Kentucky Overwatch Invitational at The Cornerstone on November 11, 2023. Photo provided by UKY eSports

Kentucky Esports hosted 20 teams for its “Bluegrass Boost Battle,” an intercollegiate Rocket League tournament at The Cornerstone on Feb. 17-18.

The tournament started with a qualifying groups stage in which all 20 teams were organized into four different groups with five teams each. The top 12 teams of the group stage would go on to play in an elimination bracket with the top team from each group getting a first-round bye.

The University of Akron turned in a dominating performance, dropping only one game during the two-day event en route to a championship victory over the University of Cincinnati.

Matches in the tournament were all three-versus-three, with the team who scored the most goals at the end of regulation or overtime claiming the victory in a best of five or best of seven game series depending on the round.

Along with the dominance of Akron, the emerging storyline was that of an underdog in Robert Morris. RMU was the lowest seeded team in the elimination bracket having barely made it past the group stage with a 1-3 record.

In the first round of the playoffs RMU would face Kentucky in a matchup that heavily favored the Wildcats but instead a back-and-forth series ensued with RMU claiming a shocking 3-2 series win, eliminating UK, and moving on to face Concord University, who had earned a first-round bye with its 4-0 group stage run.

Another upset would occur as RMU defeated Concord 4-2, earning a spot in the semifinals against Akron.

Unfortunately for the Colonials, all stories must come to an end and the underdogs eventually met their match as Akron struck first and decisively took a 3-0 series lead before RMU would win one game to put a blemish on an otherwise perfect record for Akron.

The series would end 4-1 with Akron advancing to the finals to face Cincinnati and, though Cincinnati had just as impressive of a journey to the finals, losing only one game prior to the finals, Akron would not be denied and swept the Bearcats.

The Kentucky Esports program is set to host its next LAN event, the Valorant Invitational, at The Cornerstone on March 16-17.

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