Rocket League team advances to Nationals

A little while ago, the beginning of the esports season was covered by the Tiger Hi-Line, including the rocket league team who, at the time, was in the process of competing in midwest regionals. Since then, the rocket league team has been to and won the midwest regionals, and are now moving on to nationals. The rocket league team consists of Dylan Bergmann, Mason Hendricks and Eli Reichert, three open-enrolled students from Waverly-Shell Rock, which does not have an esports team of its own. 

The journey to nationals first started in the regular season of winter esports, back in January. The rocket league team played its regular season games just like any other team. Because of a good performance, the rocket league team qualified for the playoffs, which consists of the best teams from across the state. 

One Apex Legends team also made the playoffs, but lost in the first round. The rocket league team, however, made it through the playoffs, and then advanced on to midwest regionals. The rocket league team picked up another win at the midwest regionals and then continued onward to the qualifiers for nationals. During this stage of competition, the team continued to perform, and made it to the national level of competition. 

The national tournament for 2024 is the final step for the rocket league team, and if they win, there is money on the line. This puts a lot of pressure on the players, but Bergmann, Hendricks and Reichert all believe that they are just going to continue sticking with their strategies. The team is able to adapt in competition, but walking into nationals, they are just going to treat it like any other game, and simply play what works. 

Brian Unruh is the coach in charge of this team. Working with them in the regular season games, Unruh said he is extremely excited to see this team get as far as they have and is entirely sure that they could take it all the way. 

Nationals will take place over the summer, and the rocket league team will travel to play in Kansas City. They will leave Cedar Falls and make the journey, where they will arrive and then get a hotel and stay the night. The next morning they will play their first match. The Nationals will be played in a knockout tournament style, and the duration of time spent in Kansas City will depend on how far they make it in the tournament. It’s been a challenging road to get here so far for the rocket league team, and it’s not getting any easier, but according to the three players, they’ve made it this far, and expectations are nothing less than to win.

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