Members of Kenai Central High School Esports gather around coach Shane Lopez before their League of Legends match Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Members of Kenai Central High School Esports gather around coach Shane Lopez before their League of Legends match Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Esports playoffs: Kenai advances through 16-team bracket

High school esports playoffs started in Alaska for the state’s top 16 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate teams Friday. The other two games being played in official Alaska School Activities Association action, League of Legends and Rocket League, won’t kick off playoffs until next week, because their brackets only feature four teams each.

Kenai Central High School’s team 1 defeated Sitka High School and may find themselves coming head to head with Nikiski Middle/High School next week in a Tuesday match. Nikiski was scheduled to play against Lathrop High School on Friday, but results had not been posted by presstime. Kenai 1 will play the winner of that match on Tuesday for a spot in the semifinals.

Kenai 2, entering the playoffs ranked eighth in the state, advanced as a result of a forfeit by ninth-ranked Delta High School. They will take on the top-ranked team in the state, Hutchison High School, on Tuesday. Hutchison advanced past Soldotna High School, who were ranked 16th.

The semifinals for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be held Thursday, then the final match will be held on Dec. 14.

Playoff matches for Rocket League and League of Legends will start next week. The Soldotna Stars Rocket League team is set to take on Nome/Beltz Jr/Sr High School on Tuesday. The winner will advance to the final match on Thursday. Kenai’s League of Legends team will play Lathrop on Friday, with the winner advancing to a final held on Dec. 13.

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