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Golden Pirates Valorant Team Takes Home Bronze

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Golden Pirates Valorant Team Takes Home Bronze


A close Valorant match between Southwestern University (SU) and Schreiner University led to SU’s Golden Pirates taking home the bronze in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) e-sports division. The culmination of the season, team members Joseph Dorsey, Alexa Lavario, Linh Le, Whitney Patria, and Vedant Polepally competed at eSix Gaming at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio on April 13th and 14th.

We interviewed first-year and new Valorant player, Vedant Polepally, about the experience: 

“I had a very fun and exciting weekend…While I was on that stage, I could feel the energy radiating from my teammates and I. Even though we came 3rd, we all had such a blast and will never forget this experience. I plan on participating on the team next year as well.”

The match, determined in a best of three, came down to the Golden Pirates needing to win over the standard thirteen points to have a winning margin of two. The game scores are as seen in the chart below:

SchoolSouthwestern UniversitySchreiner University
Game One1013
Game Two1412
Game Three1412

Valorant, a five vs. five first-person tactical shooter on the computer, is reliant on strategic decision-making in player teams to plant or defuse the spike (bomb), meaning the performance of a team largely is dependent on their ability to coordinate. SU’s Linh is ranked in the top 2,000 in North America and performed well throughout the conference. We talked to Linh, Vice President of the Golden Pirates and a captain of the Valorant team.

“I’m extremely happy with the team, everyone put so much effort in…This team was put together [with] a casual and for-fun mentality…But look at us now, beating almost every team…and even coming down to the wire…I’m so proud of all of my players…Alexa[’s] dedication to this entire club…Whitney filling in…Joe…keeping our mental and energy up…[and] Vedant…[who] won his first medal after playing for two months.”

In the second game, the teams played on the map “Bind.” The Golden Pirates kept a steady lead throughout the game leading to their two-point margin victory of 14-12 against Schreiner. Joseph scored well on his average combat score this game beating the opponents.

In the third game, the teams played on the map “Breeze.” At first, the Golden Pirates trailed Schreiner 7-11, with only two points needed for Schreiner to win 2-1. However, SU started to catch up while on defense, starting at 8 and tying the game 11-11. From there, Schreiner fought back, bringing it to 12-11 due to their good offense; however, with a strong defense, SU won the game 14-12 and the whole game 2-1. Alexa scored well on her average combat score during this game, exceeding many opponents. We talked to Alexa, Co-President of the Golden Pirates and member of SU’s varsity Valorant team.

“My team under many impressions were not favored to do well within the tournament, because of our collective experience. Every match in this series was a battle in itself to learn and adapt as we go to improve ourselves,” Alexa noted. She added that team captain Linh had put his experience and knowledge of the game to the test, leading to the satisfying moment of winning 3rd despite playing against players from other schools with greater experience in Valorant.

Alongside them at SCAC were the Smash Ultimate Team and other Golden Pirates competing in Smash Ultimate Singles, including students Marin Elvis, Gerald Jones, Soren Laureles, Marlon Mata, Jaelyn Matthews, Marios Petropoulos, and James Yun.

With the e-sports Spring season over, the Golden Pirates will work toward recruiting the next batch of team members for Valorant, Smash Ultimate, Rocket League, and Apex Legends come Spring 2025 when they return to competition.

Alexa talked to us about the organization’s future, “[The Golden Pirates] hope to continue…social events throughout the year that build a community at Southwestern but also build teams that have the drive to compete in events like the SCAC and other competitions. The various teams are always looking for players that have that competitive kick in them, but you also get to foster a community and friends through this program through the competitive events.”

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