ANNVILLE, Pa. – After a long year full of stiff competition, the Lebanon Valley College Rainbow Six team won the NECC Challengers Division National Championship.
After the fall and spring seasons came to a close, the top teams in each division for each title were placed in a bracket through a points system created by the league. This points system rewards higher placements in both the regular season and in the playoffs. After all of the points for the 22 total challengers teams were tallied up, LVC ended up with the sixth seed in the division, qualifying them for the championship bracket that includes the top eight teams.
The seeded teams from top seed to eight were Fanshawe College, Arcadia University, Murray State University, Long Beach City College, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), LVC, Central Methodist University, and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). The National Championship Tournament was a single elimination bracket that took place over the course of three days from June 12-14. LVC was scheduled to take on third-seeded Murray State University in the opening round.
Fortunately for LVC, prior to the June 12 matchday, the NECC informed the Dutchmen that Murray State would need to forfeit the match, putting LVC into an automatic semi-final appearance. The semifinal appearance tied the highest nationals placement for an LVC team, matching that of the Rocket League team in last years' tournament. In the semifinal, they met their rivals in Arcadia University who also advanced to the semifinal via forfeit. On the other side of the bracket, there was forfeits by Fanshawe, Northern Virginia, and Long Beach City, which gave Southern Illinois an automatic bid to the national final to face the winner of LVC and Arcadia.
In the best-of-three semifinal, LVC kicked things off on Theme Park, the same map they closed out their previous series against Arcadia on earlier in the spring season. Arcadia started the map off with a round win to take an early advantage. LVC responded with a huge 1v1 win from David Palmer "Davies" in a type of round that set the pace from a majority of the first map as the opening half ended in a 3-3 draw. The back-and-forth continued into the second half as LVC started to find their groove. After a re-host of the game at the 4-4 scoreline, LVC didn't drop another round and closed out the map 7-4 with Michael Schneider "Plexios" posting a 7-2 K/D after the restart (13-9 overall).
Headed into map two, LVC had their best map from the spring season on Clubhouse. This proved to be the case as LVC cruised to a 7-1 victory with a big performance again from Schneider (13-1-6 KDA) paired with Brent Barr "Empor1um" (10-4-2 KDA) to send them to the national final against SIUE.
The next evening, LVC met their final opponent of the season in SIUE. The series was a best-of-five to determine who would walk away as national champions. The first map was Clubhouse, giving LVC a prime opportunity to start this series on the right foot. Early on, things proved to be more contested as LVC would jump out to a 2-1 lead. The Dutchmen then faced some adversity as Jack Moskowitz "TheSenate" fell out of the lobby due to technical issues with the game.
After a brief technical timeout, Moskowitz was only able to stay in the game lobby for two more rounds as the first half ended at a 3-3 draw. LVC had no other option but to play down a player for the remainder of the first map. Down a player and facing a 4v5, LVC continued to fight and kept the map close. Rounds continued to be traded, leading to an overtime in map one. Defying the odds, LVC took it to the final round of the first map, round 15, and managed to win the map as well. All four players had to have huge showings in order to bring this 4v5 win to reality. For Schneider, it was a 18-9-8 KDA, a 10-10-2 from Palmer, and a 17-9-7 from Barr and despite not having a major showing stat wise, Andrew Seneca "Reliable" came up clutch on several occasions to propel LVC to this map victory.
This gave the Dutchmen a major confidence boost heading into map two on Border. Moskowitz was finally able to stay in the lobby for the entire map as Border picked up right where Clubhouse left off. It resulted in another 3-3 draw at the half. From here, LVC found their groove, taking four straight rounds in the second half to put themselves on championship point. This map showed yet another masterclass from Schneider as he would post a 19-6-3 KDA, giving LVC the boost they needed to stroll into map three up 2-0 looking to close out the title.
The third map took place on Kafe Dostoyevsky as LVC started the map off strong with an ace (Eliminating all players on the opposing team by one player) from none other than Schneider. LVC built a 4-2 lead to close out the first half of what could be the final map in the series. As the second half continued, LVC moved closer and closer to winning the national title. At the 6-5 scoreline, with LVC needing just one more round win to avoid overtime and close out the series, the Dutchmen had a perfect execution onto the kitchen site that saw each player find an elimination with the defuser planted, giving them the first ever national title for LVC Esports. Schneider ended the map with a 17-8-3 KDA with Palmer just a bit behind at 10-6-2.
We are extremely proud of this team and what they have been able to accomplish in this tournament and this year as a whole. Follow us on social media on Twitter and Instagram (@LVC_esports) and tune in on Twitch (Twitch.tv/lebanonvalleycollege) to see our matches live. Congratulations again to our Rainbow Six team of Brant "Empor1um" Barr, Jack "TheSenate" Moskowitz, David "Davies" Palmer, Michael "Plexios" Schendier, and Andrew "Reliable" Seneca on their national championship!
- Information provided by the Lebanon Valley College Communications Staff -
ABOUT THE NECC
The NECC has sponsored both regular season competition and championships across a wide variety of popular titles since 2020. With more than 300 colleges and universities currently competing, the NECC strives to be a positive home for the collegiate gaming community.
The NECC fosters innovative competition experiences, provides quality broadcasting services, and works to support an inclusive community within collegiate esports. The NECC was started as a way to provide the collegiate gaming community with the respect it warranted and deserved. The conference prides itself on responding to the needs of its schools, directors, coaches, and most importantly - its players.