Graphic credit goes to @BigSkyConf on Twitter

Though traditional sports have been cancelled for the spring semester, there is still one event that’s allowed the Cats’ to maintain their command of the in-state pecking order. The Big Sky Conference League of Legends Championship Showdown was set for this past weekend and not only did MSU have an opportunity to beat the top seeded rival Griz, but also a chance to bring another ‘ship back to Bozeman. 

While our tradition of athletic excellence is well known in football, women's basketball and rodeo to name a few sports, the Bobcats ESports team is just recently becoming a quality outfit too. During the inaugural regular season, the Cats’ finished tied for second in the conference with Sacramento State and Southern Utah, all just behind Montana by one match. MSU had a record of 7-2, accumulating 21 total points this season while UM tallied 24. With a top four finish secured, the Cats’ guaranteed themselves a spot in the Big Sky Tournament which began Saturday, May 2 against regular season champ UM. 

The event Saturday was the best of three, with the victor moving on to the “Championship Showdown” on Sunday, May 3. With no other sports for Bobcat fans to root for currently, stakes were at an all time high, with the pride of the Bozeman flagship riding on our League of Legends athletes. The Cats swept the series, winning 2-0 against the Griz, but the main objective was to bring back some virtual hardware worth celebrating while stuck at home. MSU Esports fan John Monahan had strong feelings about his hopes before the match saying, “though beating the Griz would be nice, it’s a common occurrence so what I really want to cure this quarantine blues is a conference championship.” 

The Cats did just that. Taking on the Hornets of Sac State, the Cats once again swept the series 2-0, placing the coveted LOL Big Sky Conference Championship in the hands of the blue and gold. A rare moment of pride and excitement in these pressing times is exactly what everyone needed.

While this Cat-Griz match-up had a different feeling than other contests, it was still worth celebrating. Be sure to check out next year’s games on twitch.tv as they defend their title. As we rooted on the Cats for the first time in a while this weekend, remember that one great way to bring back other Cat-Griz match-ups is by staying home. Stay safe and go Cats!

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