The Harrisburg University esports team placed first in the National Esports Championship. Harrisburg University’s Esports team can now call themselves champions. The team, known as The Storm, is bringing the first “ESPN Overwatch National Championship” trophy back with them to the midstate. The Storm dominated in the first ESPN Collegiate Esports Championship competitive video-game playing event this weekend. The Elite 8 competition was held in Houston, Texas. Participating video-game players from Harrisburg University ousted three of their competitors from across the country to secure the championship title in the event’s inaugural year. The Storm went undefeated 33-0 this season, according to a news release. “The Storm played their best this weekend, which is exactly what we’ve been training for,” said Joe Gramano, the university’s Overwatch head coach, in a prepared statement.
“It was a total team effort, we made adjustments when we needed to, but overall, the team played really strong and it’s great to bring the Championship trophy home to Harrisburg.” The Storm beat New Jersey Institute of Technology in the quarterfinals 3-0; Maryville University 3-2; and University of Utah, 3-1. The team received kudos from Harrisburg University’s Esports Program Director Chad Smeltz, noting the team’s coach “sharpened” the students’ skills. “Watching these athletes go undefeated all season is a true testament to the caliber of what a great coach Joe is,” he said in the press release. Winning the trophy was the objective, freshman Soames Lovett-Darby said. “Every player stepped up,” Soames Lovett-Darby said. “We are a young team and we can’t wait to see where we can go from here. This is just the beginning; we plan to be back at the Collegiate Esports Championship and do it again.”