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Esports: A&M-San Antonio knocked out of the Portside Collegiate Clash Tournament

Esports: A&M-San Antonio knocked out of the Portside Collegiate Clash Tournament - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Texas A&M University-San Antonio Esports Marketing lead Hope Trinidad plays against a rival from University of Houston Downtown. UHD scores 13-6 in Valorant tournament on March 15, 2024 at Tech Port Gaming. Photo by Trey Delgado

Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s Valorant varsity team left defeated in the last round of the group stage against the University of Houston-Downtown during the Portside Collegiate Clash Tournament at the Boeing Center at Tech Port on March 15.


A&M-San Antonio vs. Texas A&M International University


During the first game, A&M-San Antonio finished with 13 kills from both Johnny Tu and Brandon Patterson. Ultimately, A&M-International took the win with a score of 5-13 on the Split map.

A&M-San Antonio started off strong in the first round with a score of 2-3 from Brandon Patterson with seven kills. In later rounds, A&M-San Antonio struggled to find their rhythm.

A&M-International capitalized on the map’s angles and their plays to control the rest of the game.

Split is one of the more popular maps in Valorant. The map is divided into two different cities: one having a traditional village aesthetic surrounded by a modern, metropolitan area. Split is a map that rewards aggressively taking map control on both attack and defensive sides to control the pace of the rounds.

“I’d say it’s our second most practiced map, we were pretty confident because we play that one a lot,” said Isaac Muniz, an A&M-International Valorant Varsity player. “It’s been pretty fun learning things as we go — learning weak spots and going over the maps.”

The tournament was a new experience for A&M-San Antonio because it was the first time the university hosted a regional tournament at Tech Port. Many were excited to go against high-ranked esports teams in the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), such as Oklahoma Christian University, The University of Texas at Dallas, University of Houston-Downtown, Texas A&M International University, and Northwest Vista College, the schools being in the top 1% of competitive players globally.

“I just wanted to win and I made sure to lock in and try my best, but obviously it didn’t work out,” Tu said.

The A&M-International Valorant varsity team picked up the patterns of A&M-San Antonio, pushing middle and picking them off through Omen’s and Viper’s smoke, two controlling areas of the map.

“We were pretty confident in the first half because we just ran at [A&M-San Antonio], and it was working,” said Ruben Atilano, another A&M-International Valorant varsity player.


A&M-San Antonio vs. University of Houston-Downtown


Leading up to the tournament, UHD’s Valorant varsity team practiced with scrimmages, playing ranked matches against friends and other colleges every Wednesday.

In order to advance to the semi-finals, teams had to place fourth or higher during the group stage. Nearing the end of the game, A&M-San Antonio’s Valorant team landed in fifth place against UHD.

Despite their 13-6 win after the second group stage against A&M-San Antonio, UHD competed against UTSA in the Group Stage losing two matches, which disqualified them from advancing to the semi-finals.

“From my understanding, they were the lower seed on the bracket and they kind of got paired up against some of the higher seed players and they only got to play out a few matches and didn’t win either of their matches,” said Adrien Miramontes, a Network gaming associate at Tech Port. “So, unfortunately, they did get disqualified.”

Third in the bracket was the University of Texas at San Antonio, who swept UHD in the first game with a score of 13-0. Despite winning against A&M-San Antonio, UHD didn’t secure enough rounds to make the qualifier.

UHD Valorant player Jose Santana said TAMUSA didn’t do anything special.

“I feel like all the losses we had in each round were because of our mistakes,” Santana said. “Mostly from us not clearing an area on the map–not communicating where they were pushing.”

Santana also stressed the importance of rivalry in building competition and getting ready for tournaments in diamond-ranked matches.

Communication senior and A&M-San Antonio esports commentator Esmy Infante co-hosted the tournament’s live stream on Twitch with Tech Port Local Area Network gaming associate Brandon Villareal.

After gaining experience in creating multimedia content for the A&M-San Antonio esports team, Infante said they were successful in producing a live stream and social media posts for the tournament. They were also successful in acquiring sponsors such as the Army National Guard, Boeing Center at Tech Port, X-Ray Pad, Be Quiet and NACE, who helped promote their Twitch live stream.

“It’s really exciting to do something like this, and I’m hoping that there is a positive experience today from TAMUSA, NACE and all of our sponsors and partners [and] that they continue this every year,” Infante said.

This story was updated at 8:36 p.m. to correct the photo cutline and attribution.

About the Authors

Victoria Arredondo
Assistant Editor
Victoria Arredondo is a senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio majoring in English and communications and minoring in psychology. Victoria received her associate degree from Palo Alto College along with her high school diploma in 2018 from Frank L. Madla Early College High School. In her downtime, Victoria enjoys reading, writing poetry and short stories, watching horror movies and spending time with friends. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in journalism.
Johnathan Peña
Sports Editor
Johnathan “John” Pena is a sophomore majoring in communications and minoring in business administrations at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. John enjoys listening to an assorted genre of music, watching movies, playing video games and videoographing with his GoPro. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in advertising and media film.

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