On Saturday the 24th marked the start of the final weekend before the beginning of a new semester for students at Boise State University. While some people were scrambling to the local grocery store to stock up on their ramen, gamers from across the state of Idaho were gathering in downtown Boise to participate in the first Uncle Sam’s Boise State University Summer Showdown. The event was co-hosted by the Idaho Army National Guard and Boise State University. It was a battle for honor, bragging rights, and an IN REAL LIFE Army National Guard loot box as 16 teams joined together to participate in this unique Overwatch 3v3 Tournament. The tournament began with the competitors splitting into two groups, Alpha Group and Bravo Group, playing each other round-robin style. The results of these rounds were used to determine the top eight teams and the seeding for the final bracket. The eight teams who qualified for the playoffs at the Gamepants Arena on Front Street brought a lot of diversity to the stage. There were varsity players, varsity prospects, Boise State Esports club players, high school students competing for the first time, Top 500 players, and Twitch streamers all representing themselves and their team.
During Alpha Group Stages, stand out performances from Team Playto who went undefeated during the Round Robin. Guac and Playto, both high schoolers, brought a new level of Overwatch play to their 3rd teammate Sulpan who is on the Boise State University Varsity Overwatch team. A close battle for 2nd was Pepegas and Weebs with Pepgas getting 2nd place and a higher seed in the Top 8 bracket.
During Bravo Group Stages, the Idaho Army National Guard and the Idaho Air National Guard team came out to compete. The round-robin started off with fireworks as the Army and Air Force battled in round 1. With honor and bragging rights on the line, the series went the distance with the Air Force defeating the Army. The action didn’t stop there, Big-B and Needhealing, both teams consisting of students at Boise State University, fought for every last game and battled for 3rd and 4th place cementing their spot in the Top 8 Bracket. The stand out performance of Bravo group was Team Plasma, a high school team from Bear Lake that drove the 5 hours to compete in this tournament who went undefeated.
Team Plasma, Playto, Feral Roadhogs, Pepegas, Weebs, Big-B, iNeedHealing, and Team Exquisite all qualified for the championship bracket. In the end, the final match was taken down to the wire between the top two teams, Playto, and Pepegas in a best of seven Grand Finals. The final score was 4-3 in favor of the Pepegas and becoming the 1st ever Uncle Sam Champions. The team won Loot Boxes provided by the Army National guard.
Following the conclusion of the tournament, there was a show match on the Varsity Blue stage between the members of the student body ran esports club team Big-B and the Idaho Army National Guard team. Ineedhealing stepped up to battle against the Army National Guard team who brought their A-game. This match also went the distance, with Big-B taking a 4-3 victory over the IDANG. The Uncle Sam’s Summer Showdown is the first of many events that will be sponsored by the Idaho Army National Guard and Boise State University. All the games were broadcasted on Idaho Army National Guard’s twitch channel: Twitch.tv/Iguardgaming and are available to watch and relive the action.
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