DC eSports captures conference title in Rocket League

December 16, 2022

DEFIANCE, Ohio -- The Defiance College Yellow Jackets claimed their first conference championship after going all the way in the Rocket League playoffs of National eSports Collegiate Conference (NECC) competition.

Held over three different weeks of competition, the Yellow Jackets avenged their only loss of the season to Brescia University by a margin of 4 games to 1 on Friday, December 9.

The team of Moses Epps, Nic Minshall and Blake Bowman was motivated by that season-opening defeat that carried them the rest of the way.

"That lit a fire inside all of the varsity boys," said eSports head coach Christopher Sanders. "We demolished every other team after that and only dropped one game. Those three always wanted to play against people better than they were. Their drive is honestly inspiring."

After going 7-1 in the Navigators Appalachia division, DC entered the Rocket League playoffs as the No. 2 seed and swept Limestone University and Louisville before the thrilling win over Brescia. All five games played against Brescia in the finals were decided by one goal.

"Blake played stellar defense and Nick added some amazing playmaking," said junior Moses Epps. "Our communication also made big difference and it was at our best during that match."

DC scored 208 goals in Rocket League competition this fall and had a plus-50 goal differential heading into the championship match. As a whole, the trio made the most of their practice time to square up their communication and gameplay with scrimmages and training packs.

"This is definitely my favorite accomplishment here at Defiance. I am so proud of the entire Rocket League team," Epps added. "The next goal we have is going to Nationals, perform well, and hopefully win the national championship. It is going to be a lot of work but we believe we can get the job done."

"This puts pressure on our varsity Rocket League team specifically, because we plan on winning next semester's competition as well," said Sanders. "With this win, we are already qualified for Nationals and, honestly, we have a great shot at winning the whole thing."

The Defiance B team also qualified for the NECC postseason in the Navigators Mideast division and reached the championship match. This group went 5-3 over eight weeks before postseason action and knocked out Misericordia University by forfeit and Bethel University, 3-1, before losing in the championship to Lebanon Valley College, 4-1.

Defiance also sent their League of Legends team to the NECC playoffs after a 6-2 fall campaign. Armed as the No. 3 seed, they were knocked out in the semifinals by Northern Illinois by a 2-0 score.

Defiance College eSports is in its fifth year of competition dating back to the 2018-19 academic year. In addition to competition in the NECC, the Yellow Jackets are also members of the Great Lakes eSports Conference (GLEC).

Chartered in 1850, Defiance College is an independent, liberal arts-based institution in Northwest Ohio, offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. DC has created a unique career readiness program called Jacket Journey to help students learn career skills in and out of the classroom. The four pillars of its mission guide the College: To Know, To Understand, To Lead, and To Serve.