The College of Staten Island Esports Rocket League & Super Smash Brothers Ultimate teams made school history this weekend, receiving bids to compete in the Collegiate Esports Commissioner’s Cup (CECC) held in Atlanta, GA, over the weekend (May 7-8), playing in-person at the Gateway Center Arena as part of the National Championships in both games.

Nearly 500 Esports athletes and 64 teams across the country won their way into the CECC via a qualifier, conference championships, or at-large bids. The CECC then hosted the 16-team, double-elimination Esports titles in four different games, with CSI represented in two of the four.

Ranked No. 11 in Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, CSI was represented by Sofronio Lorenzo (Frio), Jeremiah Alonso (YoshiSonic35), Justin Pena (Yotin), and Nicholas Lam (ToonNick). The team dropped its opening match to No. 6 St. John’s University on Saturday, and then dropped a close contest to No. 14 Old Dominion University in Loser’s Bracket competition in their legs of competition. In the Rocket League tournament, CSI’s team of Ralphy Vargas (Driftzy), Samuel Rozenfeld (Eleventeen), and Maxim Kleyer (Muckz), ranked No. 14 overall, fell to No. 3 Stockton University, 2-1, and then fell to No. 11 University of Florida, 2-0, to see their run end on Saturday as well. Still, the experience was a tremendous step for CSI’s relatively infant Esports program.

“I think our teams proved that can compete against some of the best teams in the country,” said CSI Esports Coordinator Alberto Sanchez. “This is the first time ever that our team has played in an in-person LAN event, and it was huge for them. It’s a different atmosphere, a different play style, and you get to physically see your opponents. There is also a little bit of a mental game aspect to it but just being in an environment where you can be with your teammates for the first time, is something they are going to cherish. It’s one thing to play online, talk on coms, or talk on Discord but playing the game together in-person for a national championship is a unique experience they will never forget.”

In only their third year as an official program, CSI Esports has set a high bar for itself, currently representing in six Esports games, including: Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, Rocket League, Overwatch, Valorant, Call of Duty, and League of Legends.

Check out a small slideshow of images from the weekend in our Online Gallery.

By: Sal Caruso