Business Management major Ben Ross took second in the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association’s (NIRSA) Rocket League Championship April 8-10.
The competition was in the game Rocket League, a vehichular soccer game, with students competing both individually and in three-person teams.
Ross competed individually and is the first St. Cloud State University student to participate in a competitive collegiate esports competition through Campus Recreation. Ross took second in the Rocket League competition, falling to a player from Texas A&M.
“There were so many schools I knew, like the University of Florida and Texas A&M,” Ross said. “… It was kind of just nerve racking and exciting too because you know you’re playing against them.”
The tournament included esports commentators and the final rounds were live streamed.
“I had the stream playing in the background while I was trying to concentrate,” Ross said. “I thought it was really cool.”
Ross was on the game as Husky, for the St. Cloud State Huskies, and the commentators would point out when he was going for a shot or making some aggressive moves.
“One of the shots to win the fourth game I had 5 seconds left on the clock and I shot it and it hit the goal post and it bounced the opposite way, and that was to win the game,” he said. “And the commentator was like ‘that was so close!’ You could hear it in the background. ”
Ross has been playing esports for years competing casually online and with friends as well as participating in competitions. This was his first time competing on behalf of an organization.
“It was really fun,” he said. “It was a good experience and knowing I was playing for St. Cloud made me more motivated to try to win it all.”
He is hopeful that St. Cloud State will continue to build its esports offerings because others would enjoy playing competitively against other colleges too, he said.
NISRA Championship Series added the Rocket League competition due to the growth of esports nationally. The competition featured both a one-on-one tournament and a three-on-three tournament.
Esports are also growing on the St. Cloud State campus with the growth of the Esports student club and the addition of the Esports Lounge in Halenbeck Hall. Campus Recreation has hosted several gaming competitions this school year, with the most recent being NBA 2K this April. Ross, who also enjoys NBA 2K, won the competition.