Collegiate Esports Commissioner’s Cup Texas presented by McDonald’s of North Texas solidifies its position as the premier collegiate esports festival, including Texas Middle/High School Esports Championships, Paidia Cup, Open LAN Omega Strikers & Super Smash Bros Tournaments, ESPORTSU Collegiate Esports Awards, Onsite Activations and More
ARLINGTON, TX (May 9, 2023) – The Road to Texas concluded at the Collegiate Esports Commissioner’s Cup Texas (CECC Texas) presented by McDonald’s of North Texas, who crowned Fisher College in Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, Northwood University in Rocket League and VALORANT, and Maryville University in Overwatch® 2 today with the Commissioner’s Cup. The largest collegiate esports festival at Esports Stadium Arlington included the first all-women’s team, a historic HBCU program, several nationally ranked programs, and a Service Academy. The teams and MVPs from each bracket shared the $26,000 prize pool.
Powered by CSMG and ESPORTSU, the two-day festival welcomed more than 3,000 fans and provided intense competition across the four gaming titles. The largest collegiate esports festival featured 64 teams from 50 schools from 14 conferences totaling 443 athletes and coaches representing 25 states and Canada. Vanta and Esposure also hosted the Texas Middle and High School Esports Championships, which welcomed more than 400 participants across nine gaming titles. This was the first esports event of its kind to hold all levels of scholastic esports from middle school to college at a professional esports venue.
“The one-word summary for CECC Texas would be ‘winners.’ From the schools to the teams and the players, coaches, directors, and parents to the staff and production team, the sponsors, and the community who came out to participate, everyone made the weekend a winning experience for all,” said Angela Bernhard Thomas, Chief Esports Officer, for CSMG/ESPORTSU. “Texas has a big heart and gave us a warm welcome. We appreciate you.”
Super Smash Brothers Ultimate – Fisher College soars!
Fisher College, a private school in Boston, defeated Michigan State University 2-0 (in a best-of-3 series) in the Super Smash Bros Ultimate Grand Finals. The Falcons took control from the start of the game and cruised to victory. Fisher advanced to the finals beating Michigan State, while the Spartans turned around and beat Northwood University in the lower bracket, to set up a rematch in the Grand Finals.
Carlos “Sonix” Perez, a sophomore from the Dominican Republic majoring in management with a focus on entertainment, earned his second CECC MVP for the Super Smash Bro Ultimate tournament (he won in 2022 with Bay State College). Sonix, who ranks in the top 5 in the world, also won the Open LAN Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tournament presented by Smoothie King this weekend against 172 competitors.
“My best advice (for aspiring gamers) would be to stay in school. It’s very easy to get caught up in ‘Oh, I’m really good at this,’ so I am going to completely skip out on school and just play games. But, I think it’s always good to have a plan B, and what better way to have a plan B than to be doing both what you like and what you could be doing at the same time, which would be school,” said Sonix.
Rocket League – Northwood University goes back-to-back!
Northwood University, a private school in Midland, Mich., captured their second Rocket League title back-to-back, racing past the University of Akron 4-1 (in a best of 7 series) in the Grand Finals. The two teams squared off for the title in 2021. Northwood beat Indian River State College, a public school in Ft. Pierce, Fla., while Akron knocked out Boise State University.
Zander “Nitrous” Shah, a sophomore from Newtown, Mass., majoring in finance, was named CECC MVP, who has been actively playing Rocket League since 2018. Nitrous won his last two LAN Rocket League events, so he was feeling confident coming into CECC Texas.
“I plan on winning all the time. Whenever I go into a game, the one thing I am focused on is winning. It doesn’t matter if I make mistakes or anything like that. The main important thing is to just focus on winning, doing what you need to do, having good team morale, being loud, being energetic, and hyping up your teammates, who will in turn help hype yourself up. As long as the team environment is good and you have a good time, even while competing, I feel that is the most important part,” said Nitrous.
VALORANT – Northwood University finds redemption!
After a heartbreaking loss to San Jose State University at CECC Atlanta in 2022 in the Grand Finals, Northwood University found redemption at CECC Texas and beat Fisher College 2-0 (in a best-of-3 series) in the VALORANT Grand Finals. Fisher had a chance to force a game 3, but Northwood skillfully turned the tables and closed out the match.
Hunter “Furbsa” McMillan, a sophomore from McLeansville, N.C., majoring in business management, was named CECC MVP for the VALORANT bracket. Furbsa claimed his third MVP in his career. While he has eyes on going pro in the future, Furbsa hopes to repeat as a champion next year at CECC with his current team.
“Our team has a carefree attitude when it comes to things. We label ourselves as the best collegiate team in the world since we won the Red Bull Campus Clutch and now CECC. We always try to keep positive and lift each other up,” said Furbsa.
Overwatch 2 – Maryville University
Maryville University, a private school in St. Louis, Mo., completed its road to the Overwatch 2 Grand Finals, topping Fisher College 3-0 (in a best-of-5 series), who meticulously took care of business to hoist the trophy. The Saints beat Boise State University, while Fisher College topped the University of Texas-Dallas in the Semi-Finals.
Enrique “Joobi” Triana, a sophomore from Mayfield, Ky., majoring in psychology, was named CECC MVP for the Overwatch 2 bracket. Joobi, a former pro player with the Houston Outlaws, returned to school to focus on his game and bond with his collegiate teammates, however, they took a different approach for CECC Texas.
“As far as preparation goes, we had close to none, because with the travel and stuff it’s hard to schedule scrims with another team to practice. So other than just playing ranks, or if you are really into it, you can watch other teams play and figure out what they are going to do, but we weren’t thinking too in-depth about it,” said Joobi.
A True Collegiate Esports Festival
McDonald’s of North Texas played a significant role in building excitement and awareness, including various promotions and giveaways through the McDonald’s App as well as awarding a free custom @McDonalds PC built by @PCGamerzHawaii. McDonald’s of North Texas also sponsored Howard University as the first Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) team to compete at CECC Texas.
“McDonald’s of North Texas was excited to sponsor the CECC tournament, and we were especially proud to have played a part in Howard University’s participation as the first HBCU team to compete for a title at finals weekend,” said Keith Vanecek, North Texas McDonald’s Owner/Operator. “It was great to welcome players and fans from around the country to North Texas and to help make sure everyone stayed fueled up. When you’re too busy gaming to dine out on your favorites, you can expedite an order through the McDonald’s App or let McDelivery bring your favorites to you.”
The weekend festival-like atmosphere was more than just a competition. The best esports athletes and fans enjoyed various activities, including the ESPORTSU Collegiate Esports Awards, Vendor Village, Partner Activations, Esports Celebrity Meet & Greets, and Open LAN “footbrawler” Omega Strikers and fan favorite Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments with up to $5,000 prize pools each. The weekend launched with a private red carpet ceremony for all 64 teams, including the presentation of the McDonald’s branded jerseys they wore during CECC Texas, which were unveiled to the public for the first time.
Xbox, ESPORTSU, and Paidia Gaming hosted the inaugural Paidia Cup during CECC Texas. The all-women’s VALORANT tournament featured CU Esports, University of Houston Scarlet, and PowerPuff Girls, with CU Esports taking home the championship, beating the University of Houston Scarlet. CU Esports was also the first all-women’s team to compete in the overall CECC Texas VALORANT bracket.
Meanwhile, Vanta and Esposure awarded trophies to several Middle and High Schools during the Texas Esports Championships. Winners included:
Fortnite: Trinity Klein Fortnite from Klein, TX
Apex: NSISD Apex JH from New Summerfield, TX
Smash Solos: SNJH Smash Solos-Crispy_Tin from McAllen, TX
Smash Crew Battles: SNJH Smash Crew 1 from McAllen, TX
Chess: SNJH Chess – DMoreno from McAllen, TX
VALORANT: McCool V Bootes from Lubbock, TX
Overwatch 2: LXJ Overwatch from La Porte, TX
Fortnite: Belton HS F1 from Belton, TX
Apex: North Side – Awesome Sauc3 from Fort Worth, TX
Smash Solos: Crowley Griffons SSB OP from Crowley, TX
Smash Crew Battles: Griffins SSB Platinum from El Paso, TX
VALORANT: RHHS Blue Hawks Varsity from Prosper, TX
Knockout City: Midway Knockout Blue from Waco, TX
League of Legends: CSHS Legends from Clear Springs, TX
Overwatch 2: Indy Knights from Frisco, TX
The broadcast team featured a stacked group of professional esports hosting, desk analyst, and casting talent. The event was hosted by @PaulyHype, @spaceghost, and @Septilence, with @LOS, @CHIXXA_, @KilomilesIRL, @N3RDYBIRD, and @GOMPERS on the analyst desk. Caster talent featured @BASS, @TheDangerTaco, @SAI, @DARAMGAR, @ClutchKey, @DIVIDING, @ASHCASTS, and @Catinator.
CECC Texas is also supported by McDonald’s of North Texas, Xbox, Apple Music, Smoothie King, Barbasol (who presented the CECC Smooth Skin Selection Show on May 1), Dream Seat, Monster Energy, Neustreet, and VisitRaleigh.com. And strategic partners include Esports Foundry, Dallas Stars, Cxmmunity, Paidia Gaming, and the*gameHERS.
Full list of CECC-qualified teams:
Ball State University, Bethel University, Blinn College, Boise State University, Bryant & Stratton College, Converse University, Fisher College, Illinois State University, Maryville University, Miami (OH) University, Mount St. Mary’s University, Southern New Hampshire University, St. Clair College, University of Houston, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and the University of Texas-Dallas.
Army West Point Esports, Arizona State University, Blinn College, Carlton University FE, Converse University, Fisher College, Northwood University, Oklahoma Christian University, Quinnipiac University, Southern New Hampshire University, St. Clair College, Texas A&M University, University of Buffalo, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, University of South Florida and Winthrop University.
Brewton-Parker College, Boise State University, College of Staten Island, Columbia College, Fisher College, Grand Canyon University, Indian River State College, Iona University, Northwood University, Old Dominion University, Stockton University, University of Akron, University of Mount Union, University of Texas-Arlington, Weber State University, and the West Virginia University
Super Smash Brothers Ultimate
California State University-Sacramento, Fisher College East, Fisher College West, Florida State University, Howard University, Manchester University, Michigan State University, Northwood University, Quinnipiac University, St. John’s University, University of California-Riverside, University of Houston, University of Texas-Arlington, University of Texas-Austin, University of Texas-Dallas, and Winthrop University.