Northcote College No 3 are one of the great success stories of the High School League 2 Challenger Division.
The team had to be replaced at the beginning of the competition when the original line-up was unable to continue due to other sporting commitments.
That created a void for the new side and they have battled through the playoffs to earn their spot in this Saturday’s grand final at the Armageddon Expo at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland.
The High School League is the premier national secondary school eSports competition that was launched this year by Letsplay.live, Computer Power Plus and TechCafe.
League of Legends is the battleground and the second split saw more than 35 teams competing in the Premier and Challenger divisions, respectively.
Teams from throughout New Zealand have taken part with games being streamed live on Twitch. This weekend’s finals will also be streamed on Twitch.
Northcote will meet Aquinas College at 10.30am on Saturday in what promises to be an enthralling encounter.
Sean Crossen is the teacher in charge of eSports at Northcote College and he said the team’s dedication was the main reason behind their run to the final.
“What I have seen from all the players involved is an improvement in their teamwork and leadership,” Crossen said.
Northcote’s players have continued to balance gaming and their study commitments and Crossen said the team was ready to perform in this weekend’s final.
“One thing the boys will have to look out for is closing games, which is something they have sometimes struggled with in the season,” Crossen said.
“They just need to keep their heads up and continue to communicate with each other and not get hung up on any small mistakes.
Aquinas College have also dispatched some tough competition in their respective pools and should make for a good match at Armageddon. Both matchups in bot and mid lane should be really interesting to watch and find out who comes out on top.”
Aquinas comes in to the final having topped the Central group during the regular season. Team captain Reilly “Oikawa” Gardner said they made big strides during the split.
“A large reason why we improved throughout the split was having practice games against our first team,” he said.
“This helped us all improve as we were playing against tougher opponents than we were used to playing. The first team also gave us a few tips on how to improve our game.”
More than 70,000 people are expected to attend Armageddon during the weekend, which is the country’s biggest gaming expo.
Gamers will have the opportunity to watch HSL action throughout Saturday as it will dominate the Logitech G eSports Arena.
“The final will most likely be our hardest match of the split as we are facing the best team from the other side of the play-offs,” Gardner said.
“Along with the nerves of being on stage and the pride of being the best Challenger team in New Zealand up for grabs it will be difficult. But I believe we can win.”
The Premier Division final between Mt Roskill Grammar School and Mt Albert Grammar School is set to start at 2.30pm.
The HSL has proven extremely popular this year and Computer Power Plus has been a strong supporter of the competition.
Many IT students have a background in gaming and CPP has recently launched a promotion that will provide a guaranteed job for students who enrol for 2018.
Teams for Saturday
Top - David "Rootyy" Cooper
Jungle - Oliver "Sparta 9000" Mortleman
Mid - Reilly Oikawa" Gardner
Marksman - Hunter "BackSnipe" Mortleman
Support - Alexander "Pinky" Hawkes
SUB - Hamish "Captain Hook" Low
SUB - Leo "Ryzie" Moon
Top - Ting Yu "Tietou" Liu
Jungle - Vincent "Dragon" Lu
Mid - Ming Ze "illuoslion" Li
Marksman - Haorui "Mowutian" Sun
Support - Nate "Lantern" Si
SUB - Nigel "Rezera" Phan
SUB - Minxin "Xiao" Cheng
SUB - Frank "Return" Wong
Mount Albert Grammar School
Top - Dennis "shakenrobot" Nieuwenhuizen
Jungle - Joshua "Terrath" Bilby
Mid - Vincent "Vansinne" Lo
Marksman - Daniel "2001" Morrow
Support - James "Johan" Promchart
Mount Roskill Grammar School
Top - Liam "Taloss" Liang
Jungle - Patrick "YinYan" Chung
Mid - Alan "Jele" Xu
Marksman - Allan "ximeR" Peng
Support - Andy "Skerez" Mo
HSL is organised by Letsplay.live, Computer Power Plus, TechCafe and The NZ eSports Federation.
For more information on HSL and to catch all the action as it unfolds, visit: www.facebook.com/highschoolleague.
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