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Maryville University has a team going to the final four – the eSports final four. The Saints eSports team is undefeated and carries a 36-0 record to the semifinals of the League of Legends national championship, considered the biggest tournament in North America history. The finals will be contested May 6-8 in Austin, Texas.
The Saints, seeded No. 1, compete in the C-Star League Division I Tournament and face University of Waterloo in Canada in the semifinals. The tournament began with more than 128 teams. League of Legends is a five-versus-five multiplayer video game.
Maryville Saints eSports Team
“We recruited some of the best talent in the country,” team coordinator Dan “Clerkie” Clerke said. “We have players from everywhere, including two from California, one from Arizona, and one from Canada.”
The Saints team consists of John Le, ranked as one of the top 10 players in the world, and squad members Cody Altman, Tony Chow, Andrew Smith and Marko Sosnicki, who are all ranked in the top 200. Clerke, an international business student, is also the owner of several successful eSport teams, including Enemy, a professional-tier League of Legends team.
“I’m excited to get Maryville to the forefront of collegiate eSports,” Clerke said. “eSports is the biggest thing that nobody knows about. To put it in perspective, more people watched the League of Legends World Championship last year than every sporting event except the Super Bowl.”
The tournament will be broadcast on-line at www.twitch.tv, a website that caters specifically to the eSports industry covering the top players, tournaments, and leagues. The eSports industry is estimated to soon be a $1.9 billion worldwide endeavor.
Maryville University was one of the first schools in the country to offer scholarships for eSports.
“Maryville has the best support for eSports athletes in the country,” Clerke said. “We are one of the innovators for collegiate eSports, and we think we are on the forefront of something that is going to be big. This is our first year as a program, and we hope to be a dominant force in collegiate eSports. We believe we have an excellent chance to bring home a national championship to Maryville University.”