It’s make or break for quite a few teams this week.
VALORANT is back and ready to go for Week 8 (October 24-25) of the Esports Collegiate Conference (ESC) 2023 Fall Season. The final week of the Rocket League regular season is here. Many teams are on the edge of playoff contention with the top 4 teams currently locking in their postseason spot. With only four spots remaining to make the Top 8 it's down to the wire in Week 8. VALORANT, on the other hand, still has three weeks of play remaining for their regular season and many games are still left to be played.
Nelnet Bank (Member FDIC) is thrilled to be supporting the ESC Fall regular season this year and looks forward to watching the action play out. Nelnet Bank knows the collegiate esports community works tirelessly to bring opportunities to students as they develop and prepare for their futures. The team at Nelnet Bank wishes the teams, players, and everyone else the best of luck in this tournament!
Check out the updated standings and schedules for both games heading into ESC Week 8. We also have brought attention to some key matchups that you will not want to miss.
ESC Week 8 Preview
This week brings two broadcasted Rocket League matches on the official ESC Twitch account. For the games that will not be on the broadcasted check out the individual streams from each school's broadcast channels linked below their previewed match.
ESC Week 7: Broadcasted Matches of the Week
Miami University versus Ohio University (Rocket League): Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. EST*
The Battle of the Bricks makes its way to the Rocket League pitch. The Miami RedHawks (6-6) face off against long-time rival Ohio Bobcats (2-10) in the final week of the regular season. With a win, Miami clinches their spot in the postseason and an opportunity at the 5th seed. Ohio is currently out from postseason play with a tough record of (2-10) but with an opportunity of knocking out their rivals from the postseason as well you know they are going to be ready to play.
Miami's new roster has given life to the RedHawks near the end of the season as they took two important wins over Northeastern and Eastern Michigan last week. The group has worked hard to make their postseason dreams become a reality and they have one match left to nail it in. A win would also mark their record as a positive regular season.
For Ohio, it has been a tough season with both wins happening during the first two weeks of the season. Despite a rough outing this fall, the team has an opportunity to and a good ending to the season. The Bobcats have potential but needed to string together some games during many of their series. With six of their losses being 1-3s or 2-3s out of a best of five, Ohio was able to keep things interesting but was unable to claim victory in the end.
Eastern Michigan University versus Western Michigan University (Rocket League): Oct. 25 at 9 p.m. EST*
Another major ESC rivalry joins the broadcast for the night's second match. The Eastern Michigan Eagles (2-9) matchup against rival Western Michigan Broncos (5-5) in a battle for Michigan. With the same fate as Ohio, Eastern Michigan unfortunately is out of postseason contention. However Eastern Michigan can do the same thing Ohio has the opportunity to do. A win over Western Michigan can put their postseason hopes away and prevent them from making the Top 8. The stakes are high in Week 8.
ESC Week 7: Highlighted Matches
Northern Illinois University versus Northeastern University (VALORANT): Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. EST*
A battle of the Huskies commences this week in VALORANT. Northern Illinois (4-4) plays against Northeastern (7-2) to see who has the biggest dog in them. Northern Illinois is playing to pull away from the 8th seed and get a little more comfortable in the standings. Meanwhile Northeastern sits well at the third seed currently and have shown great promise against many of the top teams in the ESC this year.
A win for Northern Illinois gives them a cushion as they head into a tougher schedule for the remainder of the season. With Ball State, Akron, and Buffalo still left on the schedule, Northern Illinois faces off against 4 of the top 5 teams in their last five matches. Northeastern on the other hand has played all of those teams already and are heading into an "easier" side of the schedule with the opportunity to knock some teams down the standings with wins against them.
Toledo University versus Bowling Green State University (VALORANT): Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. EST*
Both Toledo (5-4) and Bowling Green (4-4) have shown tremendous growth this season after a really hard 2022 Fall outing. The new players for both teams have shown amazing talent and this match can really shake up the standings for now. It can also be a huge deal later on as a tiebreaker if both teams sit on the cusp of elimination from the postseason.
Toledo can break the top 4 of the standings if they can go on a win streak and win against Akron later on in another major matchup. Bowling Green will be a big test for the group to see if they deserve to reach within that top 4 placement at the end of the season. For Bowling Green, a tougher schedule remains with Northeastern, Ball State, and Miami waiting. A win against Toledo keeps their postseason hopes going and an opportunity to break Top 8 for the first time in the standings.
Kent State University versus Ball State University (Rocket League): Oct. 25 at 9 p.m. EST*
The match that many had been waiting for finally is here. Unfortunately, it will not be an undefeated showdown between the schools. A Battle of the Birds commences, Kent State (10-1) fly up against Ball State (11-0) in a major showdown for one of the last games of the season. A loss last week to Northern Illinois ended in a game-five nail bitter for Kent State. The Golden Flashes look to regain against Akron in their first match of Week 8 and then finish their season off against Ball State.
Ball State has the opportunity to finish undefeated for the first time across both ESC titles. A massive statement by both teams this year have showed they are dominant and to be feared heading into postseason. This match against Kent State may also foreshadow a postseason matchup during the semifinals or finals this year. Will Ball State suffer their first loss of the year in any title to Kent State? Make sure to tune into either of the school's Twitch accounts to find out.
Stay tuned to esports.gg for more ESC esports news and updates.
*Match times are subject to change.