Colleges Collide: Michigan State University vs. Robert Morris University


     Michigan State University and Robert Morris University gear up to tackle the last week of the regular UPL season. In this swift 2 game series, MSU fights to finish with an undefeated season as RMU fights strongly for the third seed spot in the UPL playoffs. 


     Kicking off game one, RMU’s ‘Zile’ on Zac proactively executes an early gank in MSU’s mid lane without hesitation, giving his Syndra mid lane that first blood gold. RMU’s ‘Zile’ makes another appearance in the mid lane and another successful one at that. ‘Zile’ bounces on top of his target, lowering their health bar enough for his mid laner to secure the kill. However, RMU isn’t the only one having a bit of fun in the early game. MSU’s ‘please save btn’ on Gragas is keeping busy building up a massive 300G bounty extremely early in the game. Unfortunately for Gragas, his fate would be met by RMU’s rising Syndra, but the rest of his team is already plotting their next big move. Realizing that they may need to play reactive before they can become proactive, MSU makes ends meet by not only meeting their opponents’ kill score but surpassing them in the mid-game. An overstayed turret dive from RMU opens the perfect window for MSU. Suddenly, one death turns into three kills and MSU reaches a huge power spike. RMU can no longer spare one wrong move, as any misclick would be fatal for the team. MSU’s ‘I Am Nightshade’ on Yasuo constantly moves around the map with great awareness, catching out his adversaries with ease. With every small lead put together, MSU is able to use a Rift Herald on RMU’s inhibitor turrets to nearly ace their adversaries and conclude game one at 27 minutes. 


     MSU heads into game two with a noticeable amount of confidence. A gank from MSU’s Olaf jungle puts game two in motion. After locking in the first blood, Olaf scurries into the jungle, where he was caught out by RMU’s ‘KINGSLAYER RYKEN’ on Gnar, evening out the early kill lead. Every player on the Rift is on their toes tonight, whether they’re trying to close out the series, or attempting to come back from the recent loss, each movement is taken as if it’s their last. Three members of MSU dive onto RMU’s bot lane in hopes to capture a kill, but they didn’t have enough damaging, allotting enough time for RMU to roam, splitting the fight in a 3 for 3 trade. Relentlessly, MSU risks another dive under the opposing bot lane turret, leaving with a kill and the first turret of the game. And speaking of relentlessness, RMU refuses to enter the late-game without putting up a fight. ‘Zile’ on Lee Sin in the jungle continues to set up, execute, and finish global plays in a last-ditch effort to save the series. Both teams bickered throughout the second game, but it’d be MSU’s ‘please save btn’ who creates a clear path for his team. Victory is in sight, and MSU is still hungry. MSU continues to dominate constant control of the jungle, securing an Infernal Drake and picking off any adversaries. RMU finds themselves with a bare nexus and nothing left to defend for it, allowing MSU to close out the last series of the 2019 Fall regular UPL season at just 21 minutes. 

To the playoffs we go!: Post-game with MSU


     After MSU’s glorious win, I was able to catch up with Michigan State’s ‘I am NightShade’ in the mid lane and his ADC, ‘Dylaran’, for a brief interview before their climb into the playoffs.


Being first seed heading into the finals, how did you as an individual and as a team get here?

I am NightShade: “I think the main reason that my team and I got first seed was due to the fact that we know how to play our specific game. We always have a clear game plan on what to play for and who individually to play for.”


What team(s) are you looking forward to seeing in the UPL finals?

Dylaran: “Honestly, I think all the teams are pretty good going into these playoffs. FA, MU, and Lucky/Mirage seem really good, so if we do end up making it to the finals against one of them, it should be a good match.”


What was/is your biggest challenge this season? Did any players specifically increase your difficulty of play?

I am NightShade: “I think UWO was the biggest challenge for me personally since they [defeated] us at [CLoL] and there’s the mental edge that they have. I felt like I just needed [it] to win.” 


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