Overwatch and Smash Bros. to Compete in National Top 16 Tournament Bracket in Strong fall Esports Season

The Oakland University’s Rocket League and Smash Bros. teams, now in their fourth year, have made significant achievements. They are among the 32 US teams that qualified for the Collegiate Rocket League (CRL) and also claimed the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) Varsity Premier Smash Bros. conference championship.

The NACE Varsity Premier level can be compared to an NCAA Division I conference, like the Horizon League, in traditional sports. The Smash Bros. team had a flawless 6-0 regular season record and managed the 4th seed in the top-16 national playoffs.

The team consists of seniors and team captain Austin “Spectral” Kujawa, sophomores Tristan “Triscuit” Toma, and freshmen Pablo “Avien” Avila, Anthony “Anthony Isnt Cool” Codd, and Robert “Rob” Rabinowitz. They aim to reach the national championship match for the first time in the history of the program. Their top 16 match against Shenandoah University on November 9th at 8:30pm EST will be livestreamed on (https://twitch.tv/oaklandesports).

“This team has the potential to beat the country’s best teams,” expressed head coach Carl Leone about the Smash Bros. team.

The team performed well in the first Riptide Collegiate Crew Battle event on Sept. 8 and at Confluence Festival 2023, ranking third and second, respectively. In both tournaments, they lost only to Michigan State University.

Rocket League, consisting of team captain Aidan “Whale” Cay, Seth “Tisonic Boom” Tison, and Nicholas “Peep” Stief, competed in the first NACE conference featuring only NCAA Division I schools. Five of the participating teams qualified for the CRL. The team boasted a 6-2 regular season record and qualified for the playoffs.

After a 4-0 victory over James Madison Dukes on Monday, Oct. 23, the Rocket League team suffered a devastating 3-4 defeat against Texas Dallas Comets, ending their NACE playoff run. However, they made program history by qualifying for the Fall CRL with a 6-1 record in the qualifier. Oakland previously only qualified in the Spring season.

“I’m incredibly proud of our Rocket League team and their progress throughout the fall,” Head Coach Carl Leone opined on the Rocket League team.

The Golden Grizzly Overwatch 2 squad, led by team captain Matthew “Jax” Jurj, had a successful season in the NACE conference featuring only NCAA Division I schools. They accumulated a 5-1 regular season record, only suffering defeat against conference champions Boise State University. They also secured their place in the national top 16 bracket after beating Ferris State University 3-1 on Oct. 24. They will be playing their first match against Shenandoah University on Nov. 7 at 8:30pm EST (https://twitch.tv/oaklandesports).

“Making it to the national top 16 is a groundbreaking moment for our Overwatch team. They continuously surpass my expectations each season,” shared Head Coach Carl Leone about the Overwatch team.

Participating in Blizzard’s College circuit: Overwatch Collegiate Homecoming, Overwatch ranked 40th out of 374 teams with a 7-3 record in the swiss format tournament. The team clinched first place at the Battle for the Midwest event on Nov. 4.

Despite a challenging regular season, the Oakland League of Legends team, led by team captain Henry “Hensap” Huang, ended with a 4-3 regular season record in their NACE Varsity Premier conference. The team will compete again in College League of Legends (CLOL) in spring.

For the first time, Oakland deployed a Smash Bros. B team, made up of freshmen Ian “SPECTRE” Sellman, Lucas “NAD79” Fehn, and Pablo “AVIEN” Avila. They’re currently playing in the National Esports Collegiate Conferences (NECC) and are set to make the playoffs with a 3-1 record. Their next match against Harper College is on November 7th.

To watch the team’s performance, follow Oakland Esports Twitter for updates on competition schedules, and the Oakland Esports Twitch for live streaming of the games.

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