The University of Texas – Dallas has been a school competing in Rocket League as far back as CRL goes, yet wasn’t officially recognized by the University until the Spring 20 season. Ghost would start competing then, but it wasn’t until freshman lubey and dalton joined for the Fall 20 season that everything changed.
Coming into the groups first ever CRL qualifier together, rankers knew they were a solid team, but having never seen them play together, they’d slide down to the #20 seed, and would have to upset a few solid teams to make it to the main event. They’d do just that, taking down Utah in Winners Round 4, before a huge 3-2 win over UNT in the Semi-Finals would put them right on the brink of making CRL league play on their first attempt. A clean 3-0 win over ASU in the Finals would do just that, as UT Dallas would finish the day 5-0, a first sign that this group had something special.
A lot of hype built for this team after their impressive showing in the qualifier, and they would not disappoint as they had a strong showing during the Fall 20 season. They would finish the season 9-6, and earn the 5th place spot over 9-6 Arizona due to beating them head to head during the season. This would prove to be a vital moment for them as the 5th place finish would give them a spot in the CRL Wildcard event, while Arizona was left on the outside watching.
With high hopes to make the CRL Fall Championship through the Wildcard event, things would quickly go downhill for the UTD squad. They’d be matched up with CSU in the first round, and despite being the ‘favoured’ team, had actually lost to CSU previously in the CRL regular season, as well as in PlayVS earlier in the fall. CSU would once again prove to be Dallas’ kryptonite as CSU would take them down 3-0, and send Dallas straight to the losers bracket. For many teams this would mean the end of the road, but lubey knew the team could reset, and keep competing.
“We don’t take any loss to heart, personally the main reason we are so successful is our mentalities. No matter if we score the best goal of our life, or get blown out in game 10-0; we are able to reset and get back in the zone instantly”
They’d get quick revenge on the school though, as they’d take down CSU Green in the losers bracket, followed by wins over Oregon, UT Arlington, and Missouri S&T to make the Finals. This would secure them a spot in the CRL Championships, but a win over LSU in the Wildcard Finals would give them the higher seed going into the championships. Although they couldn’t quite pull it off, going from first round loss to the CRL Championships was a dream come true for the Dallas team.
UT Dallas would end up having a pretty rough time in the Championships, losing a tough matchup with Northwood (the eventual champions) in the first round, forcing them once again to the losers bracket early. This time things would not work out so well, as they’d lose to NOVA right off the bat, and finish 7th-8th in the event. For the first semester playing together, no one was complaining about being top 8 in North America.
They would continue their strong showing in the CCA Winter Classic, drawing a really tough group of OSU, Akron, and UT Arlington, and managing to come out as the top seed. Despite a 3-2 loss to Akron, Dallas would take down both OSU and UTA, and manage to take the top spot on game differential. Unfortunately their result would match that of the national championship, as they would fall in the Quarter Finals, and settle for another top 8 finish.
The spring qualifier would look totally different for the UTD squad, as they’d be given a near unanimous #1 seed by the ranking committee this time. Dallas took the added pressure and expectation, and ran with it, once again running through the winners bracket taking down Arizona and MS&T to qualify. Looking forward to Spring League play, lubey hopes to “place top 2, and make Nationals once again”. They’re much more focused on doing well in league play this season, as he says “we were looking too far ahead in the Fall which is why we were upset by so many lower teams”. Expectations are high for this team, from the outside and inside. After making Nationals in their first season together, it’s hard to expect anything less, and lubey thinks the same. “We’re always shooting for that number 1 spot. We believe we can be the best, we just need to prove it”.