ARLINGTON, TEXAS (WBOY) — WVU Esports made it out of the group stage at the Redbull Campus Clutch U.S. Finals but failed to make a deep run in the bracket stage, losing to Fisher College Navy 13-4 in the first round of the knockout stage.

Redbull Campus Clutch is a collegiate tournament series for the first-person shooter game VALORANT, developed by Riot Games, the creators of League of Legends. The winners of the U.S. Finals, Northwood University, will go on to represent the United States in the Campus Clutch World Finals, where over 50 teams from across the world will compete in São Paulo for $20,000 and the title of Redbull Campus Clutch World Champion.

After winning the Mid-Atlantic regional in late October, WVU Esports advanced to play in the National Finals held in Arlington, Texas against the 13 other teams who had also won their region or advanced through the last chance qualifier.

Venue during Red Bull Campus Clutch at Esports Stadium in Arlington, TX Nov 20, 2022 // Karlo Ramos / Red Bull Content Pool

WVU Esports coach and program director Josh Steger said team mentality and a lack of depth were the two biggest pain points for the team. If one player got nervous, they didn’t have a substitute to bring in.

“For some of those guys, that’s the biggest stage that they’ve ever played on. When we played our bracket match we were playing on stage, best-of-one. So, win or go home basically. It’s really just waking up that morning and being able to get everyone in the right headspace to be able to complete,” Steger said.

Going into the event Steger said the team was aware of their weaknesses, but not everyone was doing what needed to be done to overcome those weaknesses, an issue he is looking to correct next semester.

“The performance of why we got kicked out of the tournament was lackadaisical from everyone, and I think the entire team agrees on that. How we played that game was terrible, we should have played a lot better than that,” Steger said. “You have to earn your spot, no one’s spot is guaranteed.”

I’m never mad to see Northwood win, I’m mad that we are there to beat them and we don’t beat them so that we can be those winners.

Josh Steger, WVU Esports coach and program director

WVU finished 3-3 in the group stage, with one match being against the eventual champions Northwood University. Northwood and WVU have played each other in the past, with several games going to overtime. The fact that these teams have had such close games, while Northwood continues to be the ones winning the events is not lost on the team.

“It always comes down to us and Northwood. We see these guys all the time, it’s a great matchup all the time. When we lost to them in overtime we hundred percent had them on the ropes, we should have beaten them, and the crazy thing is we played them in a different tournament a couple of days before we went to Texas and the same thing happened.”

Northwood also eliminated WVU in the NACE (National Association of Collegiate Esports) playoff semi-finals.

For more updates on WVU’s esports program, you can follow them on Twitter.