“We Were Improving As We Played”

ACIT Puts Up a Good Fight at International Esports Tournament


Sebastian Reyes

ACIT on the left with Absegami in the middle.

Aiden Stratoti, staff reporter

On April 30, 2022, ACIT’s Overwatch Esports team competed in a tournament called the Cardinal Open, placing 4th with a 3-2 record. This is the second time ACIT has competed in this event, placing 5th last year. Unlike the Garden State’s Esports league which was confined to schools in-state, the Cardinal Open is an international tournament.

“There were teams from all over the country,” said Mr. Connolly, ACIT’s Esports club advisor. “We had teams like Kennedy Catholic High School in Washington and the Deering Rams in Maine. We even had a team from the United Kingdom join and they ended up winning the event.”

The tournament began at 10 am with ACIT’s first match being against the GSC Owls who represented Gower College Swansea, from Sketty, Wales. This match would end up being ACIT’s first loss sending them into the losers bracket from the start.

“The first team we competed against was the GCS Owls, a college Esports team from the UK,” said Vincent Bove, ACIT’s team captain. “Unfortunately, we lost our first match despite great efforts from all of our team members. As the tournament went on, however, we grew more confident in our abilities and our anticipation grew for how far we could make it in the bracket.”

After their first match loss against the Owls, the team knew that they just needed to focus and keep playing the best they could. In the losers bracket, their new ferocity showed through. Even after defeating Knights Esports (from Indiana) in a 2-0 victory, ACIT still had a long way to go before they would be defeated.

“We were excited more than ever, but knowing what was ahead of us felt daunting,” said Logan Goldenberg, one of ACIT’s Support Players. “For what we were up against, we all did well. Vincent made some very good plays and decisions that were vital to our success.”

The third match against the Deering Rams (ME) was extremely close with the Rams putting on a tough display of skill and teamwork. The teams had to compete for 4 rounds each averaging 25 minutes, making each match harder to keep the pace. Many of the matches ended up going into overtime; but, after the clash ended, ACIT won with a 2-1 set.

“As we continued through the tournament the team was feeling great…we were performing well,” said Leo Raebiger, a sub Tank for the event. “Everyone was hyped up and in good spirits.”

After the long match against Maine, ACIT would once again have to face another team from Indiana, the Pendleton Elite. ACIT was still fired up from the last match and made a quick pace to take out the Elite. The match ended with ACIT winning 2-0.

“As the matches progressed the team was having fun,” said Sebastian Reyes, a Tank Player. “It felt like we were improving as we played, we felt unstoppable.”

After winning 3 in a row, the team’s spirits were high. However, the next opponent they faced was Snider Esports (also from Indiana). Snider was the previous winner of the event and, knowing this, ACIT anticipated it would be a tough match. Inevitably, the returning champions would end ACIT’s streak with Snider winning 2-0.

“I would like ACIT to continue participating in the Cardinal Open Tournament next year,” said Mr. Connolly. “A typical Esports season takes place over multiple weeks, but this tournament allows a team to show off their skills in just a few hours. It is up to the students to show interest in joining this tournament, but I think this is going to be an annual tradition for years to come.”