HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Two University of Southern Mississippi e-sports teams are entering postseason play this weekend, adding an incredible accolade to their inaugural season in the National Esports Collegiate Conference.
The USM Rocket League and Overwatch teams are making appearances in postseason play. The Rocket League team is an eight seed and the Overwatch team is a five seed in their respected brackets.
“To see them go from almost making playoffs last season in NACC to making playoff in the NECC, even if it is just as an 8 seed, it’s amazing,” said Jonathan Haigh, coach of the USM esports Rocket League team.
The players have the options of playing remote or playing at the USM Esports Center located on the first floor Cochran Building on campus, across from the game room.
These students are pioneering an esports movement throughout the univeristy.
“I want them to have fun with what they are doing and enjoy the experience that they are doing,” said Denny Bubrig, assistant vice president of Student Affairs. “Whatever their conclusion is, to be able to sit back and say, ‘Hey, this is a major step forward and I am helping lay what I hope is a solid groundwork for the future.’”
USM is a newcomer to the NECC but are anything but new kids on the block when it comes to gaming. There are lots of stereotypes with gamers, but these kids want to change that.
“We aren’t all just sweaty nerds,” said USM Esports Overwatch captain Samuel Stackler. “It is more mainstream than you may think, like more people do it than you would probably think. I hope to prove that soon with the Overwatch team.”
The Rocket League team will see action at 7 p.m. Friday night and the Overwatch team will have their match on Sunday.