Only one week remains for the regular esports season, and local teams are vying for dwindling open slots in the playoffs. Kenai Central and Nikiski met Monday for the Kenai Peninsula’s first in-person esports match, the two teams entering the competition both boasting undefeated records.
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Kenai Central continued its battle for the fourth and final playoff slot this week, taking on the other playoff-hopeful Mat-Su Central School Blue. The Kardinals notched a 2-1 victory, rising to a 4-3 record, but still sit at fifth in the league. Mat-Su Blue, which also has a 4-3 record, hold an advantage on games, with 10-6 over Kenai’s 9-7.
Already qualified for the playoffs are Mat-Su Central School Black, last season’s state champions who hold a 7-0 record and a perfect 14-0 game score to match. They’re joined by Mt. Edgecumbe High School at 6-1 and Lathrop High School at 5-2.
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The Kenai Peninsula’s first ever in-person esports match was held this week as Kenai Central visited Nikiski Middle-High School. Kenai coach Matthew Cross said that both teams went into the match undefeated, but Kenai ultimately pulled a 2-1 victory. That game was a rescheduled match from Week 6.
The Kardinals also battled Service High School Team 1 this week, falling to a sweep. They sit at the top of the league with a 6-1 record, though they still haven’t locked in a playoff spot in the tight rankings.
Five teams, including Kenai 2, who this week swept Chugiak High School 1, hold a 6-1 record, and are separated only by their game records.
In addition to the match against Kenai, Nikiski also played against West Anchorage High School, falling to a sweep. They hold a 5-2 record, sixth in the league, but last week were the first to secure a playoff berth by their then-perfect game record. Of the five teams ranked above Nikiski, each with the same 6-1 record, only West Anchorage has secured another playoff spot.
Kenai 3 took home a 2-1 victory over Mt. Edgecumbe High School, rising to 4-3 and 14th in the league, while Kenai 4 fell 2-1 to Anchorage Christian Schools for 4-3 and 16th.
Soldotna High School swept Thunder Mountain High School to rise to 5-2 and second in the league. They sit behind only Redington High School, which has a 7-0 record. The Stars remain the only team to have taken a point off of Redington, who also have a nearly perfect game record at 24-1.
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Kenai Central’s Marcus Wong was swept by Giovanni Morales, of California’s Lynwood High School. He falls to 3-4 and 23rd in the Pacific Region.
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Kenai Central swept Hawaii’s University Laboratory School to rise to 5-2 and third in the league.
Nikiski swept St. Andrew’s Schools Priory, also from Hawaii, to rise to 4-3 and 11th in the league.
Reach reporter Jake Dye at email@example.com.