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Northern Valley Old Tappan (NVOT)’s League of Legends team, representing Garden State Esports, secured a 30/13/48 victory against Parkland Esports, representing the Pennsylvania Scholastic Esports League. The game, hosted by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), occurred live on Monday, June 26th, at ISTE’s 2023 convention in front of a large audience of excited onlookers. The energy was high as Parkland’s team opted for a composition of Warwick, Nautilus, Caitlyn, Azir, and Fiddlesticks. NVOT selected Varus, Amumu, Jhin, Pyke, and Leblanc.

Parkland had a strong early game, capitalizing especially off of Nautilus(GenEric)'s Dredge Line to hook in enemies for picks in bot lane. While Nautilus peeled, Caitlyn(TheGentleMadman) aimed for poke damage. As jungler, peak masters Fiddlesticks player Sccutze was a force to be reckoned with. Parkland’s coordination was strong. After losing some map control to early picks, NVOT struggled with overextension and some players only narrowly escaped Parkland’s attacks. Parkland eliminated the first dragon of the game and sought to utilize this early advantage and gain more buffs.

NVOT regrouped after initial engagements and reevaluated their strategy. To counter Fiddlestick’s utilization of vision, they focused on taking advantage of player isolation by reducing vision control before pouncing on an unsuspecting opponent with root utility and pummeling them with damage. In addition, NVOT’s Amumu and Pyke were strong counters to Fiddlesticks due to their ability to cancel Fiddlestick’s ult. After picking off Fiddlesticks, NVOT set their sights on mid-lane control. 

Leblanc (BigPoppi08)’s Statikk Shiv build enabled NVOT to quickly clear the entire wave and cross the map– it was very difficult for Parkland’s Azir to counter. Statikk Shiv has become extremely strong in the meta for certain mid-lane champions recently despite not being originally intended for the role. Taking full advantage, Leblanc easily surged through Parkland territory to regain all the space NVOT had initially lost.

Warwick and Varus battled in the top lane as late-game engagements heightened. Varus (Spacedworm) emerged victorious in most of these battles. After Baron Nashor spawned, tension was growing- both teams rushed to attack. In an intense battle, NVOT aced Parkland and defeated Baron Nashor. This provided significant buffs to NVOT, which accelerated their progression to Parkland’s inhibitors and spawn. NVOT’s strategizing had paid off- by refocusing their aggression to mid-lane and getting picks with their long-range cc, they secured the game with a strong lead. Leblanc ended with a stunning 10/1 K/D and Jhin (JulyYi) with an impressive 5/1 K/D and 14 assists.

The game was not only intense and exhilarating to watch but also provided a firsthand example to onlookers of the complexity and passion that go into Esports. As Parkland and NVOT’s players progress into the collegiate esports scene, we will certainly see great things from them!