Butler University: Clutching the Siege Challengers Division

Article written by Lethe W, NECC Editorial Content Writer 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN. - Butler University’s Rainbow Six Siege took the NECC by storm with impactful season performances and a thrilling championship game. During the regular season, Butler University swept away their competition with an undefeated season. Their team consists of co-captains ZerynAstra (Alex, senior, computer science and music composition major) and Bonbon (Max, junior, business major) nham100 (Nick, junior, finance major), RyKai (Ryan, sophomore, computer science major), and BigChi123 (Ethan, sophomore, Management Information Systems major). Butler was so successful this season that BigChi was chosen as Player of the Week by NECC’s Rainbow Six staff and casters. Many are wondering: what is the secret to their success this season?

It may come as a surprise to NECC fans that this is Butler University’s first Rainbow Six Siege championship win and second title overall in the past four years. Although this is not the first league that Butler University’s Siege Team has competed in, the NECC is their first successful league. Their story is that of a classic underdog; all of their players started playing casually. Passion brought them together to test their competitive skills, which would lead to a legendary season performance. When talking to the members, they revealed that their team almost disbanded during this season.

Co-Captain BonBon explained that “We had quite a few players leaving and thinking about leaving. I reached out to Nick- he said he'd love to be on the team if I’d have him. When Ryan and Ethan joined, they essentially saved our team. We realized we could start competing.”

Teammates Bonbon, ZerynAstra, and Nham had competed together before. Their biggest struggle this season was scheduling time to play matches and balance their other commitments, so much so that they did not practice as a team together. Instead, Bonbon created strategies for their team and started producing videos running through them. In the NECC, they were able to grow their team’s potential and performance, stating that they felt they had a better chance at brushing up on their tactics, building team confidence, and winning.

“As a smaller school, we have a harder time recruiting talent,” Co-Captain ZerynAstra explained, “so it was cool to have an undefeated streak, and the games were a lot of fun.”

NECC Rainbow Six Director, Chase “Booker” Dewitt, stated that, “Butler proved to be an innovative powerhouse throughout the season. Their success proves how important that is for a team to have.”

When asked, Rainbow Six Caster Wealku agreed that “Butler was the well-oiled machine of the Challenger Division. The grand finals against Oswego were the best match I have cast and witnessed during the NECC season.”

When asked about their favorite moments, Nham stated, “In the first two grand maps of the final, I had twenty kills. I have never popped off that hard before."

RyKai’s favorite was when he clutched a 1v3 with two seconds left during the championship match. Although their favorite game was the championship game, they enjoyed season play more than playoffs. They had four close matches during the season and felt like the competitive factor was enjoyable.

Butler agrees their success stems from teamwork rather than individual play. They called themselves the Most Valuable Team. For many of their players, this is not their first competitive esports team. At least three team members compete on other Butler University teams, including Rocket League, Hearthstone, and Overwatch. Because of this, when experiencing a tilting moment, each player has come up with individualistic strategies to keep their cool.

Their team as a whole agreed that they became a lot closer as they competed throughout the season. Most of their inside jokes relied on teasing each other about their performances. An example includes telling Captain Bonbon, "just press the W key"!

They also joked about their team performance as a whole, however, including their claim that “We are just a bunch of children running around." To celebrate their win together, they plan on having a pizza party once they are all on campus next semester.

Team shoutouts go to fan Adam for showing his passion for the team on Twitch and Alex’s dad for being a great teacher. They would like to thank Joe Kirkpatrick, (the Vice President of Public Relations for their Esports program) for always being their number one cheerleader. ZerynAstra enjoyed interacting with the NECC staff; Booker (Chase DeWitt) and Esports Director Caleb Glube. Butler University’s Siege team looks forward to competing in the NECC as long as they can. Their goal for next season is to move up to the top division and face the division winner, the University of Buffalo.

“We’re gonna ace the other teams next season." Bonbon jokes.

NECC looks forward to seeing where this team goes and watching how their playstyle develops into the next season.

The NECC began sponsoring esports in the fall of 2020. The NECC is currently sponsoring both regular season competition and championships across a wide variety of titles. The conference aims to serve the gaming community with respect and is a safe and inclusive environment. With more than 100 colleges and universities currently competing in the conference, the NECC is proud to be a positive home for the collegiate gaming community. For more information, please visit necc.gg or follow us @neccgames on Twitter or Instagram