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Bellevue University wins fourth annual esports Overwatch Bluegrass Showdown

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 14 teams at The Cornerstone for its fourth Overwatch Bluegrass Showdown on March 24.

Bellevue, a first-time attendee of the Overwatch Bluegrass Showdown would go on to be its eventual champion but not without facing its share of adversity.

The tournament consisted of two brackets with 13 rounds in the upper bracket and 12 rounds in the lower bracket in a double elimination format. The winner of each bracket would face off in the grand finals. Each round was a best-of-three matchup except for the grand finals, which would be a best-of-five.

Bellevue utilized its first-round bye before defeating Houston Premiere 2-0 in the upper bracket quarterfinals. The Bruins would soon find themselves on the other end of a 2-0 sweep, however, when they were defeated by Northeastern in the upper bracket semifinals, knocking them into the lower bracket.

Meanwhile, UK found itself on the backfoot early as it was knocked into the lower bracket in the first round of the tournament.

Unwilling to go quietly, the Wildcats would battle through three separate tightly-contested 2-1 matchups to claw their way to the lower bracket quarterfinals and face Bellevue, where the Wildcats ran out of steam and were the first casualty of the warpath that Bellevue was on to make it to the grand finals, eliminating all three of its lower bracket opponents 2-0.

The stage was set for a rematch between Northeastern and Bellevue as spectators anticipated a hotly contested matchup in the best-of-five series.

What happened instead was a thrashing, this time with the roles reversed.

Bellevue jumped out to an early lead, winning the first control match 2-0 on the map Samoa. The momentum established early would then carry the Bruins to a staunch defense on an escort mission on the map Route 66, holding Northeastern to one checkpoint before scoring two of their own, thus securing a 2-0 series lead.

In the final match of the evening, Northeastern showed signs of defiance in the Flashpoint game mode the Huskies managed to score two of the five zones but it was too little too late as Bellevue secured the three it needed to emerge victorious and win the grand finals.

The esports club will host the UofL and UKY Governor’s Cup, its final event of the semester, at  The Cornerstone on Saturday, April 6.

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