Penn College esports coach assesses first full season
That’s how Joshua Young, Pennsylvania College of Technology esports coach, described the college’s recently completed first full season of competition in the National Association for Collegiate Esports.
“We started our first varsity season by competing in one of the top leagues (in NACE). Our teams learned to have confidence in themselves and the team because we were competitive against large traditional sports schools like the University of Michigan, Boise State and Mizzou,” Young said.
“Our main goal was to build the program for a successful future. We competed in Overwatch, Rocket League and Valorant in the NACE Fall Cup. We finished the season exceeding all expectations with our Overwatch and Valorant teams making the postseason, making that two out of our four teams making the playoffs,” he said.
The coach then detailed the season:
“The NACE Overwatch Fall Cup was comprised of 85 teams from National Junior College Athletic Association to NCAA Division I schools all across the United States and several Canadian teams. The season started out rough with three straight losses but turned it around with a victory against Lakeland University, where former Green Bay Packers running back Ahman Green is head coach. (We) finished the regular season 6-4 to secure one of 32 spots in the postseason. The team (managed by sophomore Jared Patten, of South Abington Township) was matched up in the round of 32 against Southeastern University Black, which was undefeated in the regular season. (We) came up short in the match but finished 17th overall.
“(We) now have moved onto the TESPA (formerly Texas eSports Association) qualifiers for the collegiate championship, which will start in February.
“The NACE Rocket League Fall Cup was comprised of 123 teams, broken into 12 groups where the top three from each group made the playoffs. We fielded two teams with our ‘A’ team finishing 4-6 and the ‘B’ team 0-9. Our teams (managed by Logan Readinger, of Oley) are regrouping and playing in the PlayVS National League Fall tournament for the remainder of the fall.
“The NACE Valorant Fall Cup was comprised of 78 teams. Valorant is a new game we added to the fall season, so we were not sure at our level of competition. (We) started out with a loss to Full Sail University, but then won out the last four games of the shortened season to make the playoffs. Our team (managed by sophomore Drew Thomas, of State College) matched up against Lebanon Valley College for the first round of the playoffs. It was a highly contested match, but ultimately our Wildcats could not keep up and finished the season 17th. (We) will continue to build for the future and look for additional leagues and tournaments to enter for the remainder of the academic year.”
With the NACE fall season over, Young said, in addition to the Overwatch and Rocket League teams, the League of Legends team, managed by David Feldman, of Westminster, Maryland, has begun its season in the Collegiate StarLeague. The NACE spring season will see Penn College competing in EA Sports titles, Hearthstone and Fortnite.
“We will build off the confidence and success of the fall season to make it to that next level. Our quick, growing success has fueled our student-athletes to focus on training, dedicated to building the best compositions and strategies, and they have increased team activities like VOD review and team study halls. Building relationships with the team members outside the game will allow us to build on this success to make us championship contenders in our game titles,” Young said.
“I am proud of the accomplishments we obtained while dealing with the pandemic. It far exceeded our expectations, and our teams now know that Penn College can compete in the top levels of esports. I hope that we can continue this success and maintain our teams in the top 25 for the rest of the academic year,” Young added.
For more about NEAC, visit the conference website.
For more information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.