BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — The Blinn Esports VALORANT roster defeated Texas A&M's Maroon team in the grand finals of the College VALORANT South: Fall tournament to secure first place in the event.
At the beginning of the eight-team playoff bracket, Blinn and TAMU Maroon had to play each other in the quarterfinals. At the end of the best-of-three series, Maroon came out on top after mounting a comeback in the second half of the third map, sending the series to overtime to decide who would continue on in the upper bracket.
TAMU Maroon eventually won, advancing to the upper bracket semifinals and sending Blinn into the lower bracket and putting them on the ropes with one more series loss being the end of Blinn's tournament run and their guaranteed chance at one of two spots in the College Championship.
However, Blinn would soon go on a tear through the lower bracket, defeating the University of Houston's Premiere team, TAMU White, the University of St. Thomas, and earning a forfeit win against the University of Texas at Dallas to earn a rematch against Maroon in the grand finals.
In the grand finals, Blinn was determined to not allow a repeat of their first encounter with Maroon in the quarterfinals. The first map of the series, Haven, kicked off with Blinn taking a massive 11-1 round lead, giving them enough of a round advantage to defeat Maroon with two straight round wins in rounds 19 and 20 to close out the first map in the series 13-7.
With a 1-0 series lead, Blinn stuck to their guns by getting out to a sizeable first half lead on the second map, Ascent. With an eight-round deficit to make up, the gap proved to be too difficult for Maroon to overcome, despite their 4-0 round start to the second half. TAMU Maroon fell once again on the second map of the series 13-9, putting Blinn at match point.
In what would be the third and final map of the series, TAMU Maroon kept the first half close between their cross-town rivals, going into the second half down 5-7. Maroon would eventually win three out of four of the next handful of rounds until Blinn managed to pull away, closing out the third and final map, Breeze, with a 13-8 score and a 3-0 series sweep over Maroon.
Despite finishing runner-up in the event, both TAMU Maroon and Blinn will be travelling to the College VALORANT Championship as the South representatives in the second quarter of 2023.