Alfred State Esports

The Alfred State Esports team took first place in the 2020 Empire State Winter Games Esports Tournament at Paul Smith’s College. Pictured in the front row (from left) are Lucas Schlenk, Austin Clay, Ashely Manzueta and Mangus Roberto. In the back row (from left) are Keagan Gerber, Jonathan Lubarsky, Carson Gage, Kewu Sze, Stephen Gonzalez, Garrett Oeser, Katelynn Cary and Donald Schrader.

ALFRED — While Alfred State College’s Esports team may have been an underdog heading into the Empire State Winter Games Esports tournament, it ended up coming away as the top dog with a first-place finish.

Held in the Adirondacks, the 2020 Empire State Winter Games brought together athletes from across New York state and beyond to compete in more than 30 winter sports events. Among those was an invitation-only Esports tournament that took place at Paul Smith’s College, which featured teams from within the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).

Competing in the game “Overwatch,” Alfred State defeated several colleges to get to the final four, including Louisiana Tech University, Stockton and Johnson & Wales University-Providence (R.I.) Campus.

After defeating Saint Peter’s University, it was on to the finals to face the University at Albany.

Following a hard-fought battle, Alfred State emerged victorious 3-1 and handed the Albany team its first match loss since its formation. The Alfred State Esports team received gold medals for each of the players and a $2,000 grand prize.

Austin Clay, of Kendall, coach of the team and club president, said his team performed even better than he could have imagined. He noted that while many people may have viewed Alfred State as the underdog, the team “showed everyone that, even though we are a club, we can still play and beat the big dogs.”

Clay added that his team’s players “were popping off and were on fire the whole weekend,” particularly Katelynn Cary, information technology: network administration, Barton, and Stephen Gonzalez, digital media and animation, Bay Shore.

Alfred State Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Spencer Peavey said the team has “put in a lot of work over the past year to compete at the highest level of collegiate Esports and this win acknowledges their commitment to that.”

Peavey noted that Alfred State Esports continues to grow in membership and in outreach.

Jim Eckstrom is executive editor of the Olean Times Herald and Bradford Publishing Co. His email is jeckstrom@oleantimesherald.com.)

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