Call of Duty: Black Ops II Rivalries - UNC vs NC State Match Roundup
The Call of Duty: Black Ops II Rivalry tour made its final stop before the Grand Finals in Raleigh, North Carolina. Matchup #3 brought us to the home of the Wolfpack as North Carolina State University played host to intrastate rival the University of North Carolina.
It was a packed house at the Talley Student Center. There was even a small contingent from East Carolina University, the current wildcard leader, hoping to do some scouting.
Tons of prizes like t-shirts and GeForce GTX 660s by Galaxy just waiting to be given away.
Team NC State: Ian, Rogelio, Eric, Stephen and Nathan
Strategy: Maintain map awareness and knife, knife, knife!
Team UNC: Dylan Michael, Eric, Derek
Strategy: Cause complete and utter chaos
The Round-by-Round Breakdown
Round 1: Hijacked
As with the other two Rivalries matchups, the first map on the rotation was Hijacked. NCSU jumped to an early 10-6 lead as NCSU-Stephen started off 5-0 from the bedroom before Dylan finally took him out with a cross-balcony kill. UNC-Derek went on a tear with a Remington shotty, wreaking havok while flanking through the lower passage and evening the score up at 14 all.
Despite the potential for plenty of close quarter encounters on such a small map, both teams decided to forego a head-on assault and just hold down their side of the map using tactical inserts to ensure spawns in their own balconies. This would set the tone for what would be a night-long battle of who can lock down their area the tightest. For a map notorious for literally spawning enemies right behind you, not a single spawn flip occurred as each team opted to just trade shots cross-map with the occasional lone-wolf making a push. Hitting the 10 minute time limit would be a trend and at the end the score read 43-32 in UNC's favor.
UNC 1 - NCSU 0
Round 2: Raid
Typical gameplay on this map would normally use the central courtyard as a hot killzone, but both teams avoided the area and started off in a counter-clockwise pattern bypassing each other completely. Eventually, one of the hunting parties caught up with the other as it was NCSU-Rogelio that flanked UNC by the pool house for a quick double kill and a knife swipe to take the lead. Despite the score being tied up at only 13, each team again decided to fall back and hole up- UNC in the pool house and NCSU behind the kitchen. With just a few minor skirmishes here and there, the score hit 24-20 NCSU with 3 minutes left. With just a minute remaining and down 33-25, UNC finally decided to make a push. But it was too little, too late as the clock ran out. 40-34 NCSU.
UNC 1 - NCSU 1
Round 3: Slums
To say that each team employed a "highly defensive strategy" would be an understatement. This map of a rundown neighborhood can be broken down into three main zones- the two teams' spawn sides and the neutral central plaza which is usually fiercely fought over. That wasn't the case here, as not a single player in minute one left their immediate spawn point. The first player actually didn't enter the plaza until the 8:45 mark and the first blood wasn't registered until 8:30. After two and a half minutes, the score had reached just a 3-3 tie.
In what the casters called the "Baby Buffalo" situation, a few random stray spawns by NCSU were easy pickings by UNC to take a 9-7 lead with 5 minutes left. However, UNC's first venture into the center of the map did not fare well, as NCSU took the lead 21-16 with 2:30 left. Despite time running out and down 6 with a 1:30 left, UNC didn't feel the need to go on the offensive. Their lack of urgency allowed NCSU to set up camp in back of the map and wait out the clock. 31-23 NCSU.
NCSU 2 - UNC 1
Round 4: Plaza
In typical Plaza fashion, both teams rushed the club because it's apparently the place to be. A well-timed concussion grenade allowed NCSU to cleared it out for an 8-2 lead. In another slow-paced game, the scoreboard read 14-7 at the halfway point. With a 1:30 remaining, we saw NCSU-Rogelio employ his pre-game strategy to knife whenever possible as he stabbed his way to a triple kill and a chance to take his explosive-packed RC-XD for spin. The match goes the distance again with NCSU leading 37-24 and one game away from taking the matchup.
NCSU 3 - UNC 1
Round 5: Raid
NCSU jumped to a quick 5-0 lead as we cycled back through the map pool, prompting a retreat to the pool house. Trying to stave off elimination, UNC-Chris flanked through the garage for a double kill, recalling their strategy from Round 2. Ultimately, UNC-Dylan saved the day as he went 23-11 in the 42-35 Tarheel victory.
NCSU 3 - UNC 2
Round 6: Slums
In a change of tactics from the first go-around of this map, UNC immediately pushed up to the blue room (which I'm going to rename the "Carolina Blue Room" since they clearly owned it this match). They had it completely locked down, as they worked their way to an early lead and never looked back. From there, UNC was able to force a spawn flip, assume control of the Eastern spawn points and dig in with a 10-3 lead. By 5 minutes, their lead had grown to 21-8. The crowd got to see UNC-Chris pull a War Machine from a carepackage and grenade launch his way to a 12-5 kill/death tally. His 10 kill streak was ended by the notorious NCSU-Rogelio knife but it was enough give UNC the edge and even it up at 3 games apiece. 42-34 UNC.
NCSU 3 - UNC 3
Round 7: Standoff
With the first ever Game 7 of the Rivalries program, both teams were hit with a caster's call surprise on the map choice- Standoff. In this crucial deciding game, the score remained close with neither team allowing the other to pull ahead. Formulating a strategy on the fly, UNC claimed the loading dock and took an early 3-0 lead. A well-coordinated attack by NCSU tied it 5-5, but UNC stormed back for a 9-5 lead. Another successful loading dock breach by NCSU with 3:30 remaining earned them a 20-19 lead, but in the utter chaos a random NCSU "Baby Buffalo" spawn allowed UNC to tie it up again at 20. NCSU earned the lead on the revenge kill but only for a brief second as UNC took it back and more to a 24-21 lead.
By now, the auditorium was aroar as everyone realized it would all boil down to these last few minutes. UNC fans cheered as their squad set up shop in the gas station with 2 minutes left and a 26-22 lead. NCSU fans clapped their NVIDIA green thundersticks urging their team to rally, encouraged by NCSU-Stephen's 8 kill streak.
With one minute left, the lead shrank to 28-26 UNC. A few more even exchanges brought it to 32-30 with just 30 seconds left. With only seconds left on the timer, both teams engaged in a full-on slugfest. Game 7 was decided by only one kill as NCSU-Stephen mopped up and got the final kill with 2 seconds left. NCSU was victorious 34-33.
NCSU takes this match in the final seconds of the final game 4-3
I may have been premature in calling Round 2 of USC vs. UCLA the "Game of the Series" as this was an amazing game. With so much on the line, the insane action that took place in the last minutes prompted RevaN to call this game truly epic, something he reserves for matches that deserve the title.
The Presentation of Prizes
In a well-fought battle that went to the final second, a bummed UNC squad accepted their prize of $6000 in computer systems for their university.
An elated NCSU squad show off their reward of $12k in GeForce powered hardware to the ecstatic hometown audience.
Thanks to NC State for allowing us to throw such an awesome event on campus and to UNC for bringing a cheering section that rivaled that of the host school.
The Grand Finals featuring Cal, USC, NC State and 2 wildcards still to be determined will be held in the SF Bay Area on January 19.
For more photos from the event, visit the album on our Facebook.Read the roundups for the first two matchups at Cal vs. Stanford and USC vs. UCLA.