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UTS crowned 2021 Nationals League of Legends champions

Photograph provided by University of Technology Sydney.

The 2021 UniSport Nationals League of Legends tournament wrapped up on Saturday 25 September, following the grand final between Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Both teams successfully battled their way through the Div 1 qualifying rounds against 14 other universities to secure their spot in the final.

The match was conducted in a best-of-five games format, with reigning champions QUT extending to an early lead 1-0 against their counterparts. UTS had to draw on their skills to come back in game two, drawing the score to 1-1. The underdogs rolled with their momentum and didn’t let QUT’s experience rattle them, as they went on to secure game three and four, which was enough to claim the victory 3-1 and the UniSport Nationals League of Legends pennant.

The UTS Team was represented by James ‘Voice0’ Craig (Bachelor of Medical Science), Hsu ‘Badgenious221B’ Hsiang (Bachelor of Communication Media), Chia-Chi “Hanabi” Hsu (Bachelor of Business Management), Junfu “Zingy” Jia (Master of Finance) and Shaochun “Akano” Zhong (Bachelor of Business Management).

Meanwhile, The Australian National University (ANU) and The University of Sydney (USYD) faced off for the bronze medal. ANU dominated the best-of-three games matchup 2-0 to confirm the final spot on the podium.

2021 was the first year the competition has been held in conjunction with META University Esports, following the closure of Riot Games Oceania office. It was the fourth year since League of Legends has been recognised as one of UniSport Australia’s 40 Nationals sports, earning the winning university a coveted Nationals Div 1 pennant.

UTS’s victory etches their name into the history book alongside QUT (2020), The University of Auckland (2019), UNSW Sydney (2018), The University of Western Australia (2017 and Monash University (2016).

Due to COVID-19, the Nationals League of Legends tournament was played online from the safety of players’ own homes, with selected matches being streamed via META University Esport’s Twitch channel.

UniSport recognises the growing participation in esports and as such are planning to expand their esport offerings in 2022. UniSport Project Manager – Nationals, Natalie Broom elaborated, “Based on the success we’ve seen in Nationals League of Legends we are excited to build our esports program and to engage more students in more competitions in the months to come.”

UniSport CEO, Mark Sinderberry notes the importance of partnering with an organisation such as META Esports. “With esports continuing to thrive in the university sport sector, we know that by partnering with META, competitions will be conducted professionally and in line with students’ expectations.”

META Esports aims to develop and grow grassroots esports across Australia and New Zealand. “With more and more students playing video games and esports titles, we believe esports should be supported like sports from governments, schools and universities. We’re already making a big impact in building high school infrastructure and are excited to help support and grow university esports” said Woody Wu, League Commissioner.

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