Lee Patterson

Both FSC’s Overwatch and Rocket League teams are in the middle of nationwide and regional tournaments. 

Florida Southern’s Overwatch team is participating in two at the same time,  NACE and the Peach Belt Conference, while Rocket League is in their own separate NACE bracket. 

The esports program held tryouts at the beginning of the semester where they were able to make multiple new additions to the teams. Tryouts were primarily conducted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but due to the sport’s online presence they were able to go on without a hitch. In addition to new players, the school was also able to find new coaching staff for the Overwatch team who have made a great impact on their overall performance. 

Both teams were undefeated until recently, but still remain at the top of the standings. FSC’s Overwatch team is currently 5-1 in the Peach Belt Conference, making them tied for second place with Montevello, right behind Columbus State and Henderson State. 

In the NACE tournament, the team is 8-2 and third in their group, but tied for second in overall points. This will be the Overwatch team’s first year participating in the NACE and Peach Belt tournaments, as opposed to their last seasons where they were a part of Tespa. 

New to the Overwatch team this year is freshman Jack “Power” Hudson. Hudson is one of the team’s tanks alongside sophomore Jay “Joefus” Mathey, who joined the team last year. Hudson, who has been playing Overwatch since 2017, has made a great first impression on the team and it’s supporters, and was even named one of the MVPs in Tuesday night’s game against Georgia College. 

“When the season started, I honestly was not very confident,” Hudson said. “That all changed when we won our first game as a team and I’ve been confident that we will win going into every game at this point.”

The team has been doing what they can to practice together with their new coaching staff, as well as working to improve their individual skills. “For me, match preparation is relatively simple thanks to Overwatch’s workshop feature and the community around it. I simply load up a trainer made for a specific hero and warm up my aim and positioning. I’ll also throw some competition in there to play against real people,” Hudson said. 

Hudson and the team are confident they’ll go far this season. “I think I speak for everyone on the team when I say we want and expect to bring the trophy home to FSC.”

In their own NACE tournament bracket, Rocket League is currently 8-2. The team is placed second in their group, but tied with first place for overall points. This season is following their similarly impressive run last year, where they also went largely undefeated. 

For the first time, FSC has two different rosters for Rocket League. The first team is participating in the NACE tournament and is made up of a senior player, as well two underclassmen. The second team is composed of three of the school’s new pickups who are 2-3 for their own matches. 

Sophomore Casey “Kabit” Freudenthal is on Rocket League’s first team, and joined the school’s lineup last fall. Freudenthal had a series of impressive plays during Tuesday night’s game against the Full Sail Armada, and has been a great addition to the roster. Fruedenthal plays alongside fellow sophomore Isaac “Pranzor6” Garay, and senior Cody “Disorder” Lowe. Fruednthal  and Garay came from the same high school, and have been playing Rocket League together since 2017.

For their tournament, Fruednthal says the team is preparing by “trying to improve all of our skills through scrims with other teams and playing the ranked playlist together.”

“I think we have a fairly good shot of making it at least a decent bit of the way into the playoffs, assuming we make it into them,” Fruednthal said. “We are currently sitting at second in our group, the last game in the group stage is next Tuesday at 8 p.m., so who knows what will happen.”

The final match before playoffs for Rocket League is Nov. 3. The Overwatch team will continue to have matches up until Nov. 14 for The Peach Belt Conference when they face off against Montevello before playoffs. Both teams have secured their places in the playoffs for their respective NACE brackets. 

Students can watch every match live from home at FloridaSouthernCollege on Twitch.

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