It was a weekend full of excitement as the Fiesta Bowl and Tespa hosted the 2018 collegiate Overwatch finals in Tempe. The tournament was held in the Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Fitness Complex, where a sold out crowd cheered on their favorites through each battle.
The finals were tenuous, as the University of California – Berkeley was returning to a finals bracket with plenty of contenders keen on dethroning them from their victory in 2017. Both University of Irvine and San Diego were primed to take the winner’s seat, with the University of Toronto’s team hungry for revenge against Berkeley from their loss to them in last year’s finals.
The top ranked University of Irvine soundly trounced the University of San Diego 3-0 to start, with their consistent Pharah shutting down any means of offense straightaway. Canada got their second chance against Berkeley, capturing an early round victory, but ultimately falling against the rival team 1-3.
A show match between state rivals University of Arizona and Arizona State University took place just before the finals. The crowds turned out en masse, as many sun devils raised signs and cheered for the home team. The enthusiasm proved invigorating for ASU group, as they sent their Tucson rivals packing with a complete two-game shutdown.
The main event was much anticipated, as Berkeley went up against the highly skilled University of Irvine team. They traded rounds back and forth, but Berkeley was largely unanswered in their offense. University of Irvine made a few plays in their last rounds to stay alive, but ultimately fell 0-3 to CAL. Each Berkeley player took home approximately $7,000 in scholarship funds for their victory over the weekend.
Fans turned out in droves to root on their favorite players. Proud parents, classmates, and Overwatch fans alike peppered the crowd, cheering on each team through every payload push. Commentators provided a play by play, while emcees hyped up the crowd in between matches. The Fiesta Bowl partnership definitely pushed the event to higher tier of entertainment, with the overall excitement keeping at a high level throughout each round.
To view the tournament in full or watch more Overwatch competition, visit twitch.tv/playoverwatch.