Marywood University Esports Team Ranks Second in National Competition The Marywood University Esports Rocket League Team, coached by Austin Sienkiewicz, was among the top-ranked teams in the nation to compete in the Emergents Division of the National Esports Collegiate Conference (NECC) from June 15-17, advancing through the brackets to a best-of-seven finals match with the Cleveland State University Vikings. The Pacers kept the hard-fought series tied going into the final match, ultimately securing 2nd place nationally. Marywood finished in its regional division (Emergents Central Atlantic) as the #1 seed in Rocket League during the regular season this past semester and attained 2nd place in the regional division playoffs, before going on to compete in nationals. The Rocket League team won all 3 of its matches without losing a single game in the Nationals Group Stage, and this 3-0 score placed them in the Top 8 bracket. Once reaching the Top 8 bracket, Marywood took a close 3-2 win over St. Ambrose University, and swept New Mexico State University’s “Pete” Team in 4-0 fashion. The final match against Cleveland State University Vikings was tough, with the match coming down to the final moments of game 7. Despite coming short of first place, Marywood will receive a portion of the prize pool for taking 2nd across the nation in the NECC’s Emergents Division. Marywood launched its competitive esports program in Fall 2021. Under the direction of Harley Adler, Marywood’s esports program currently features Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In Fall 2023, Valorant will be added, bringing the program’s offerings to a total of five teams. Marywood University is one of a select number of higher education institutions nationally to respond to the ever-increasing number of students seeking this option, as the esports industry continues to explode throughout the country. A viable option for students of all majors, the program is continually recruiting Marywood student players for all games.