There must be something in the water at Nazareth Catholic College, as a second one of the school’s teams continued their dream run towards the finals in Week 6 of the META High School SA/NT Division.
Nazareth CC has two teams in the competition, and this week it was NCC Blue’s time to shine. They faced off against Reynella East College, with both teams looking to continue their winning streak. Unfortunately for them, only one could walk away with the win.
JoeMadaJimBob is Nazareth Blue’s team captain, and plays in the mid lane for the undefeated squad. He admitted the team was taking a simple mentality into all their games: “If we [NCC] play for fun, while still playing our best, we can come out on top.”
That seemed to play out well in their first match — they were able to kick-start their victorious run early with a first blood secure in a 2v2 bot lane skirmish just after the 4:30 mark. REC was able to pip one back soon after with Paddatjie on their Sett support choice, but NCC was able to snowball the early cash injection into a CS lead, and more gold.
REC was the first to pick up a major neutral objective, with their Rengar, jungler RageGC, sneaking away the first crucial drake of the game. That was backed up soon after by two more kills for Reynella East, including a big kill for Rengar, who added a kill to his bonetooth necklace.
Nazareth Blue struck back with the second dragon of the game, and doubled-down on that key advantage with kills against REC’s jungler, support, and mid laner Treebranch in the process. Soon after, REC picked up a Rift Herald, but that big kill would eventually go to waste as Reynella had to use it mid lane as it hit the expiration timer.
It looked like, despite their kerfuffle with the Rift charge, REC were going to be able to run over the map. They capitalised on the control with four kills in the top lane, before they were able to rotate south to clinch their second dragon, the fourth of the game.
Everything hung on a key moment, however. Rengar was able to flex his cash stack with a big kill against Nazareth’s marksman Dijin, who was playing Lucian, but Mrrmonkey on Warwick was able to land the counter-punch, and claim the hefty bounty on his head.
That cash rush, paired with Nazareth’s mid laner JoeMadaJimBob playing an ever-scaling Ryze, meant the team could push forward with ease across multiple teamfights around objectives. Filipino Warrior (Malphite) and Setnai (Nautilus) led by example with ultimates and hooks, and punished REC’s missteps as the team dropping behind looked to recover from their slowly-building deficit.
NCC clinched out one final dragon, rotated up to Baron Nashor, and secured both without a fight — a move that would prove to be the nail in Reynella East’s coffin. Nazareth shifted their focus to the enemy base, marched down mid lane, and pocketed their fifth win of the 2020 META High School Esports season so far.
The battle may have been back and forth, with the victor only decided in the dying moments of the match, but JoeMadaJimBob said his team had a lot of confidence nonetheless. That pre-game confidence, he said, came from checking in on the META stats integration tool teams had been granted access to in the past few weeks.
The winning team “used it to see which picks players would fall back on if their comfort picks are banned. [Nazareth] looks at what kind of comps the [opponents] had drafted in previous games, and plans accordingly,” the winning top laner said.
“After each game in the META competition, we — as a team — record what we believe we did well, and what we could improve on. So, throughout the week before our next game, we like to practice together working on these weaknesses and improving our strengths in flex games and scrimming against NCC A whenever we can.”
Nazareth may need to employ the tool again next week, as they make a march towards the finals. There, JoeMadaJimBob said, the college’s main targets are lying in wait: the host of undefeated Melbourne teams posing a “big threat” to NCC’s bid for the META crown.