CU Esports set for three National Tournament appearances this May
Thursday, May 5, 2022
CU Esports set for three National Tournament appearances this May
The Cumberland Esports Program (Credit: Casey Surma)

LEBANON, Tenn.-- Cumberland Esports is set to cap off an excellent first season with three national tournament appearances in Rocket League, Overwatch, and Madden beginning next week.

Rocket League

The team of Sam Bates, Dominic Rodriguez, and Ian Boister put together an excellent spring season, winning the Emergents Conference Championship to earn an automatic bid to the NECC National Championship.

The Rocket League team went 15-3 overall in the spring, finishing as the runner-up in the Mid-South Conference to the Shawnee State Bears. Cumberland had their best performances in NECC play, going 11-1 overall and winning the conference championship over Bethel Pilots in thrilling fashion, 4-2. The win was the first-ever conference championship in Cumberland Esports history.

The Rocket League team also received individual accolades this season with Ian Boister and Dominic Rodriguez being named Mid-South Conference players of the week.

The national tournament is set to take place starting May 15, with opponents and times to be determined. 

Overwatch

The Cumberland Overwatch team of Matthew Reynolds, Preston Olivier, Blake Fraley, Chris Crenshaw, Logan Wilson, and Dominic Rodriguez earned an at-large bid to compete in the NECC National tournament later this month.

The team went 5-5 overall in the spring semester and finished as the conference runner up to Shawnee State in the Mid-South Conference. Their performance in the NECC this season, combined with the team making it to the NECC Quarterfinals in the Challengers Conference, helped secure an at-large berth to compete in the National Championship.

Throughout the season, the Phoenix also recorded individual honors. Both Preston Olivier and Logan Wilson took home Mid-South Conference Overwatch Player of the Week awards for their stellar performances in the support role.

The NECC Overwatch National Championship will begin on May 24, with opponents and times to be determined.

Madden

Cumberland's three Madden players, Jaylen Taylor, Austin Bush, and Nathan Nelson have all earned qualifying bids for the NECC Madden Nationals.

Jaylen Taylor will be entering the NECC PlayStation Nationals as the No. 2 seed and will be facing the No. 7 seed from Bethel University (TN). Taylor has accumulated a 7-3 record over just the spring semester. Taylor earned two Madden ECAC Player of the Week awards this season and finished as runner-up in the ECAC Championship.

Austin Bush will be going into the NECC PlayStation Madden Nationals as the No. 1 seed and will be facing the No. 8 Seed. Austin has accumulated an 11-7 record over the year. Bush has had a great season to this point, picking up an ECAC Madden Player of the week award in late February.

Nathan Nelson will enter the NECC Xbox Nationals as the No. 1 seed and will be facing the winner of the No.8 and No. 9 seed. Over the year, Nelson has accumulated a 10-3 record. Nelson earned an ECAC Player of the Week award the first week of march for his excellent play and finished as the runner-up in the ECAC Championship.

The NECC Madden Nationals begin on May 28th, with competitors playing from their own home arenas.