Skip to main content
ASUN Hiring Banner

The Nevada Esports collegiate Valorant team, the UNR Blue, will be competing in the NCAA’s Mountain West Conference’s grand finals against Boise State University on April 12 at 8 p.m.

Nevada Blue currently ranks second in the Mountain West Conference with a record of 5-2. The team has beaten Hawaii, New Mexico, Colorado State, Air Force and UNLV. Additionally, Nevada achieved four out of five victories 2-0. By comparison, Boise State stands at 7-0 this season This year, Nevada Blue will vie with Boise State for the chance to compete in Arlington, Texas.

Neil Khemka, the team’s coach and manager, expressed his excitement for the team.

“I’m incredibly excited for and proud of the team for making it to Grand Finals,” Khemka said. “They’ve been really working hard and they deserve this.”

This is the first season the team has competed in the Mountain West Conference. The team has previously played for College Valorant, the official collegiate league hosted by Riot Games, the developer of Valorant.

How the competition works

The tournament is run by the NCAA and includes all 11 schools in the Mountain West Conference from California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. In this particular tournament, teams play in a single elimination, round-robin format – though formats may vary across different conference leagues. The top four teams entered semi-finals.The two teams who win their semi-finals match up compete in the grand finals. 

Prior to each match, a pick and ban process takes place. A coin flip determines which team can choose if they are Team A or Team B. Then, the following process takes place:

  1. Team A bans one map.
  2. Team B bans one map.
  3. Team A picks the first map.
  4. Team B picks the side they want to start on (offense or defense).
  5. Team B picks the second map.
  6. Team A picks its starting side for the second map.
  7. Team A bans one map.
  8. Team B bans one map
  9. The remaining map is selected for map 3.

Matches consist of up to three standard games of competitive Valorant. The first team to win two games wins the match and moves on.

How does Valorant work?

For those who don’t play the game, here is an explanation of how a Valorant game works:

One game consists of two halves with 12 rounds. Both teams switch between defense and offense at the half. To win a game, a team must win 13 rounds by completing their objective. For offense to win, the offense team must successfully plant a “spike,” or what would be a bomb in other games like Call of Duty or Counter Strike, or eliminate all five players on defense within one minute and 40 seconds. For defense to win, they must either eliminate all five players on offense, defuse the spike if planted or prevent the offense from planting during the round.

Who is playing at the Grand Finals?

The Gankster profile for the team shows UNR Blue’s average rank as mid-Ascendant to mid-Immortal. In terms of individual competitive standing, the team averages at the top two tiers of the competitive ladder.

The roster consists of the following players:

  • Drake “Samawoo” Young
  • Eric “Zanzy” Austin
  • Arnold “Ajponaldinho” Plechner
  • Alexander “Axleshredder” Lord
  • Yuri “INFJ” Melikov

The standings can be found on the Mountain West website.

Jesse Cabrera can be reached via email or via Twitter @TheBigCountry14

Leave a Reply