Just before Thanksgiving break, Esports was hard at work climbing the bracket of the Collegiate Rocket League (CRL) Fall Championship Tournament. From Nov. 17-19, the varsity team competed in five matches against five different colleges: Columbia College, The University of Akron, West Virginia University, Fisher College, and Boise State University.
Overall, the BSU varsity Rocket League team finished 3rd out of 419 teams registered to attempt to qualify and compete in the 2023 Collegiate Rocket League season. After an 8-7 season and qualifying for playoffs as the last seed, the team hit this milestone at the end of a Cinderella through the national championship bracket.
Each playoff match was broadcasted on the official Rocket League Twitch page with over 4.1 million followers. Over the three broadcast days, the matches had a combined 185k views.
Throughout the matches, the broadcasts would frequently use player webcam shots to showcase the esports players, even sharing a live feed of the Ball State Esports Center filled with the cheering team.
Esports also received lots of attention from Rocket League personalities and viewers through both social media buzz and the livestream comment section.
Among the top performing players was player Arlin “Oath” Burns, who received a full-ride scholarship to compete for the varsity Rocket League team beginning in the 2023 Fall semester. Burns was awarded top rookie of the season and Second Team All Collegiate Rocket League (CRL).
Director of Esports Dan Marino said the response to the success of the team overall and the hard work of players like Burns will have a positive impact on the future of the program.
“We’ve been able to capture a pool of prospective students because of (Burns’ and the team’s) ability and reputation,” Marino said.
Shortly after their success before the holiday break, the Esports program received almost 20 prospective student contacts and set a personal record for social media growth over a 48-hour period.
The team is now ranked 3rd overall in the country and became a national championship contender in just one semester.