Here’s the preview for Week 9.
The Rocket League postseason is here for the Esports Collegiate Conference (ESC) 2023 Fall Season! VALORANT still has two weeks remaining until the postseason mark, but as we head into Week 9, which runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.
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!
In this week's preview, we will be taking a look at the VALORANT schedule, the updated standings for the game, the final standings for Rocket League, and the Rocket League Playoff bracket.
ESC Week 9 preview
VALORANT takes the main stage on Oct. 31 to start off the week. Then, on Nov. 1, Rocket League begins its postseason with the quarterfinals. Then, there's more VALORANT on Nov. 2.
ESC Week 9: VALORANT highlighted matches
Week 9 marks the second to last week of the season for all ESC teams. With only four matches left in the season, many of these games will be crucial for teams that want to make the top eight postseason cut and play for that coveted ESC Championship trophy.
Miami University versus University at Buffalo (VALORANT): Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. EST*
Starting the week off for VALORANT, the Miami RedHawks (5-5) face off against the Buffalo Bulls (8-1) in a potentially playoff-defining match. With a win, Buffalo secured their postseason bid for another year in a row, giving them a chance at repeating another ESC championship. If Buffalo is able to win both matches this week against Miami and Northern Illinois, then it sets up a potential battle for the first seed against Ball State in Week 10.
On the other side, for Miami, this match is extremely important for their playoff hopes. Sitting currently in seventh place in the standings, Miami needs wins while three other teams right behind them are chasing for the final two spots. Miami has a bye heading into Thursday and only two matches remain after that for them. A win against a very confident Buffalo team would keep the postseason dreams alive for the RedHawks.
Northeastern University versus Bowling Green State University (VALORANT): Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. EST*
The Northeastern Huskies (8-2) are looking to continue their dominance heading into a match against the Bowling Green Falcons (4-5). Northeastern is coming off a huge 2-0 sweep against Northern Illinois to put them at the top three of the standings. With the last three matches of the season against three teams below the top eight, Northeastern should feel confident in securing playoff contention.
Last week, Bowling Green players were unable to take the win over Toledo and lost 1-2 in their series. The match was crucial for their season and has now pushed them all the way down towards the tenth seed in the standings while Toledo sits comfortably in the six seed for now. With Ball State, Northeastern, Eastern Michigan, and Miami left on the schedule, the Falcons have a tough road to securing postseason play.
Even with a surge of wins in their last four matches, Bowling Green has a chance of missing the final cut. The other teams, Western Michigan and Northern Illinois, could also win out and lock the seventh and eighth seed.
Akron University versus Kent State University (VALORANT): Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. EST*
The Wagon Wheel Rivalry returns in VALORANT. Akron University (6-3) and Kent State University (7-2) meet up to commence another epic rivalry match that can determine the head-to-head seeding later on in the postseason. Kent State has found themselves a solid win streak heading into their series with the Zips and look to make it five in a row.
Akron was able to bounce back in Weeks 6 through 8 after their 0-2 loss against Ball State in Week 5. The team continues to show promise and their chemistry continues to grow as they look to make it back to the championship finals once again this year. The rivalry is front and center this week on the official ESC stream.
Western Michigan University versus Central Michigan University (VALORANT): Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. EST*
Another Michigan rivalry battle between Western Michigan (4-5) and Central Michigan (2-8) starts this week. Central Michigan's postseason dreams may come to a close after this week as well. It is all dependent on other match results and if they are able to win out for the remainder of the season. A win against rival Western Michigan would be huge and punch out Western Michigan from the top eight in the standings.
Western Michigan needs a win this week to give some leeway going into Week 10. With matches against three of the top four teams remaining in their schedule heading into Week 9, it is tough to say that Western Michigan makes it to the end of the regular season. A win against Central Michigan and some upsets are on the board for Western Michigan if they want to make that postseason run.
Akron University versus University of Toledo (VALORANT): Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. EST*
The Akron Zips (6-3) meet up with another northern Ohio school in the Toledo Rockets (6-4). After Akron plays in the Wagon Wheel Rivalry against Kent State for their first match of the week, they meet up against an equally matched Toledo team. A win for either school will put them above in the ranking and potentially lead to a quarterfinal rematch later on in the postseason.
Toledo is coming off a bye on Tuesday and facing Akron this week. Will the game off on Tuesday affect the Rockets heading into their Thursday match? Only time will tell as these two teams prepare for an important week.
ESC Week 9: Rocket League quarterfinals
The eight seeds have been finalized after a tremendous ESC Regular Season. It all comes down to this. Quarterfinal matches start this week on Oct. 31. The semifinals and finals are going to be streamed out on the official ESC broadcast Nov. 11.
ESC Rocket League quarterfinal matches
You can find the quarterfinal matches streamed on each school's respective Twitch account linked to their name.
Ball State looks to finish on top with an undefeated season as they swoop into the first seed this year. Right behind them, the defending champs, Akron Zips, want revenge in the finals after a tough loss to Ball State in the regular season.
The last time all of the quarterfinal teams met their opponents, the higher seeded teams swept the lower. Will the same result occur this time or are there upsets waiting to happen?
Stay tuned to esports.gg for more ESC esports news and updates.
*Match times are subject to change.