The SNHU Valorant Team (Image courtesy: Kayleigh Phillip)

SNHU Esports team, Valorant Blue, traveled to the All Systems Go Esports Bar in Worcester, MA on March 18.

Hosted by UMass Amherst and WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute), the tournament had eight schools attending and competing. The first-place prize was $500.

Sean ‘Peachy’ Lightbody (’24), a player on Valorant Blue, shared his experience with the tournament and discussed which competition had the team on edge.

“Going into this tournament, we were expecting to win,” said Lightbody. “At the time, we thought that the only team that would give us a challenge was Northeastern University, since we hadn’t played them in the NECC yet.”

The NECC (National Esports Collegiate Conference) is the primary conference that the SNHU Esports varsity teams compete in. According to the NECC, 383 different schools compete in Valorant, with some schools having more than one roster.

Lightbody spoke on the team’s confidence as the tournament went on and how rewarding it was to have competed.

“As the tournament went on, we became more and more confident,” said Lightbody. “My favorite moment from the tournament was definitely winning, since we each got one hundred dollars.”

Valorant Blue played a total of five games, each against different schools. The first match they played was against UMass Amherst, which they won 13-8. They later played against Tufts University (Middlesex, MA) and won 13-3. Then, they went up against the University of Massachusetts Boston, winning 13-8. After playing these three matches, SNHU made it to the semi-finals.

Competitive games in Valorant are typically played to thirteen, unless both teams are at twelve wins. In this case, it goes into overtime, in which the game continues until one team has won twice in a row. The Valorant team’s first game in the semi-finals was against the University of Connecticut, which SNHU won in overtime, 15-13.

Their last game was against Northeastern for a best two-out-of-three match. SNHU took the win in a 2-0 set of games.