DANBURY, Conn. – The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) has announced its  2018-2019 ECAC Esports Major Award Winners.

Aidan Hoskey (Siena College) – ECAC Esports Freshman of the Year

Game: Fortnite

Fun Fact: Last summer Aidan interned with the Brooklyn Nets doing computer programming helping to build scouting reports.

Aidan (Class of 2022) studies Computational Physics and competes on Siena’s Fortnite team. Aidan helped lead his team to an ECAC eSports Championship finals appearance at HV Gamer Con this past Spring. His outstanding play this past season earned him ECAC Freshman of the Year.

What is your role on the team?

“I try to make sure we’re doing the things we need to, remembering that every time we play can be used as a learning opportunity. I try to apply lessons I’ve learned from other games as well and I work to make sure everything is going smoothly.”

When did you discover your passion for playing video games and the route to go competitive?

“Well my very first video game was webkinz. My senior year of high school I started to take video games and Fortnite seriously and when I arrived at Siena I decided to play competitively.”

What are some ways video games have impacted your life?

“Video games are a great way to connect with people, particularly since you meet people with similar interests. I think it’s a great way to apply the parts of my brain that I feel can be applied well to video games. I’ve always felt like something has clicked when I find great enjoyment in what I’m doing and can also perform fairly well.”

With eSports growing in all aspects, how does it feel to compete on a collegiate esports team?

“I had a great interest in eSports my senior year but didn’t really see a way for me to get into it. But once I got to college and saw they had a team; I’ve seen how eSports are really starting to take off and could exponentially grow to the point where it could absolutely be comparable to sports like basketball and football within the next few years.”

What advice would you give to aspiring eSports players?

“Learn from everything and take everything as a learning opportunity. When I was younger, I used to get frustrated and angry with games, but I found that once I stopped doing that and instead started saying ‘Ok, why am I getting annoyed and how can I improve?’ I think that’s a good mindset to have. Take advantage of every chance you have to play and work hard to practice and improve.”

Coach Joel Madru had this to say about Aidan: “Aidan led Siena College (A) Fortnite to an impressive 7-1 record over the course of the spring season. As a first-year program, we were unsure of just how good a showing the team was able to put together. Freshman Hoskey stepped up in a big way when it came to being captain of the Siena squad. He worked tirelessly with the other members of the team to take his game to the next level. His hard work paid off when he helped carry the Siena team to the finals of the HV Gamer Con tournament. Aidan is a great student, athlete, and kid.”

The future certainly looks bright for Aidan and the Siena eSports program. Aidan also noted, “I’m very grateful for the awesome community that we have right now. It was such a phenomenal experience going to HV Gamer Con- that was a tremendous amount of fun for my teammates and I. I’m looking forward to what’s in store for the future.”

Michael Schneider (Sacred Heart University) – ECAC Esports Senior of the Year

Game(s): League of Legends and Hearthstone

Fun Fact: I play the support role in game and out of the game in real life for my teammates.

Michael received his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Michael’s hard work as the captain of the League of Legends team and dedication to Sacred Hearts esports program for the past four years has earned him as the recipient of ECAC Esports Senior of the Year.

How does it feel to be selected as ECAC Esports Senior of the year?

“To be honest, it feels really good! When I found out that I was selected I got so excited because I was a part of this program since the beginning of my freshman year. We had 12 people and now we’re at around 60 competing at all these tournaments and attending HV Gamer Con. It feels super good to be acknowledge for all the work I’ve put in for four years.”

What are you pursing now after graduation regarding gaming and as a career?

“Right now, I’m working at IBM as a programmer and ethical hacker. In terms of gaming, I heard that the ECAC will be conducting alumni leagues that I am very interested in competing in as well as others.”

When did you discover your passion for video games and the route to go competitive?

“Surprisingly, I didn’t start until my freshman year. I would just play casual with my friends and not do anything competitive. What really changed that is finding out about the esports scene. I didn’t know there were streams online and huge tournaments across the country. Once I saw that I told myself I could start doing this.  It was also a combination of each year hanging out with my teammates and best friends, they make it a lot more fun.”

How did you balance competing on 2 teams, school, and work?

“I did have my plate full. There were a lot of times where I went to bed at 1 a.m. and would have to get up for my 8 a.m. class. I found a balance because I made gaming a priority and took seriously. I made sure to get my work done to fit video games into my schedule. “

Coach John Albergo mentioned the following about Michael, “As captain of the League team at Sacred Heart, Mike’s job was already massive. He helped a team get to its first on stage competition in school history. This year, Mike stepped up like I never though anyone would. He was more than just the League captain; he was a leader for the entire program. Of course, he stepped up on the rift as well, with his consistent play to help secure wins during the season and during HV Gamer Con. He always went the extra mile to set up practices and organize events for the program, even if it wasn’t for a game he played. Mike is everything a senior should be, a true role model, a great captain, and even better friend, it has been a privilege to play along side him in the past and now this year to coach him.

Dan Garofoli (Providence College) – ECAC Esports Hearthstone Player of the Year

Fun Fact: Dan has a twin brother!

Dan is a senior from Redding, Massachusetts studying finance and accounting. Dan’s exceptional play helped his team win the Spring 2019 ECAC eSports Championships and earned him Hearthstone Player of the Year honors.

How would you describe your role on the Hearthstone team?

“I’d say I always make a suggestion every turn. I kind of just throw stuff out there and sometimes they’re like ‘no, this is bad’ but I feel like I can think outside the box more-so than others. Occasionally, I’ll come up with a play that’s just like absolutely the best play to do and the other two people wouldn’t have even thought of it. But then other times they’re like ‘no, that was a stupid play.’ I think I have a different play style than the others on the team and it kind of balances out and we work well together, which is why I think we were so successful.”

How long have you been playing Hearthstone?

 “I started playing Hearthstone my junior year of high school. Some of my friends played it and I decided to try it out. At first it was kind of hard and I didn’t really know what was going on. I just stuck with it and even though I was confused and frustrated at first, eventually I got the hang of it. Hearthstone is easy to play casually since I can play and practice on my phone, so it makes Hearthstone more accessible than other games to play. Once you understand what’s going on in the game, it’s pretty easy to get back into it even if you haven’t played the game for a few weeks or months.”

When did you discover your passion for playing video games and the route to go competitive?

“I started playing video games when I was five or six- when I got my first Gameboy. Ever since then I’ve been hooked on video games.  Then going into my freshman year of college I played in a tournament for the first time. There were professionals playing, and although I lost in the first round, the match was very close, and I took my opponent to five games. That guy I lost to went on to be the runner-up in the whole tournament, and I realized then that I could play.”

How has video games impacted your life?

“Some people say it’s a waste of time. But I have made a lot of good friends through playing video games. Video games are one way I’m able to stay in touch with distant friends while at school since there are no geographic restrictions of any kind with online gaming. Playing PS4 also allows me to stay in touch with my brother.”

What do you think the future holds for intercollegiate eSports?

“I think all games have a life-span. Soccer and football, those games will always be around. With eSports, the games being played and watched are always changing. If the industry is to continue growing, companies and leagues must be prepared to adapt to changes. I also think of how business deals can be made on the golf course nowadays, and I think in the future as our generation grows up, I could see business deals being made over video games.”

What advice can you give younger aspiring eSports players?

“Stick with it. Try out for a team even if u don’t think you’re good enough. I didn’t even think I would make the Hearthstone team. If you like playing the game then you can find the outlet to play competitively and get into it, even if it’s at more of a casual level. No one should get discouraged just because they don’t think they’re good enough.”

Providence College Esports Director, Aaron Colaiacomo, had the following to say about Dan: “The newest member of the Providence College Hearthstone Championship team, Dan was the only member who ensured that he attended all games throughout the semester. Missing some important events, Dan truly made eSports his major priority in 2019. This ignited the passion of his teammates to continue with the program in the 2019-2020 season. Providence College is fortunate to retain all three of their players for the 2019-2020 season due in no small part to Dan.”

Luke Henry (Drew University) – ECAC Esports League of Legends Player of the Year

Fun Fact:  “ I can solve Rubik’s Cube in under two minutes, can juggle, and can do magic tricks.  I’m here to be serious, but at the end of the day it’s about the little things that bring joy.”

Luke is from Point Pleasant, NJ and studies Math, Computer Science, and Statistics at Drew. Luke was a huge part of the team’s success this past season, which culminated in an appearance in the semifinals at ECAC HV Gamer Con in Spring of 2019.

How long have you been playing video games?

“I’ve played League of Legends for six or seven years now. I first got into video games playing a lot on the original Xbox console. HALO was the first game I really played, back when my hands weren’t even big enough to hold the old ‘duke’ controller.”

What is your role on the team?

“I spearheaded the effort to organize and plan tryouts, and I was passionate about getting the League of Legends team set up and ready to compete. I focus on my own play and aim to be consistent, occasionally stepping in to throw out a call every now and then.”

What are some important or strategic aspects to League of Legends that people who don’t follow the game closely might not know about?

“On a League of Legends team, you have to be able to communicate and everyone must be on the same page. If members of your five-man team aren’t all on the same page, you’re at an immediate disadvantage because if the other team can coordinate and work as a cohesive unit- it doesn’t matter if your call is better because you will still lose. The planning comes even before the game begins. It comes in studying the team you’re matched up against, observing that team’s play style, understanding and preparing for certain in-game player matchups. We prepare going into matches and can determine which strategies will be most effective, which matchups we want to try and create, etc. That all happens as a team. You can find many parallels between the planned, strategic, components of football and the preparation and pre-game strategy required for League of Legends.”

When did you discover your passion for playing video games and the route to go competitive?

“Growing up, I would go home and play video games, particularly a lot of HALO Reach. I never really took things to a competitive level until I started playing League of Legends competitively. League of Legends was that first game where no matter how much time I put into it; I could always get better. And that’s probably why I stuck with it for so long; each day I played I got better or learned something new.”

 How have video games impacted your life?

“The first thing off the top of my head is that it’s helped making  friends. Growing up, I didn’t always talk to a lot of people in school, but when I logged online, I would talk to everyone online because you didn’t feel any sort of judgement. For people who might be shyer, sometimes it’s great to be able to log on and build communication skills and confidence by talking to everyone online, often working with total strangers to accomplish an objective. You meet people online who you might never see in real life but being able to meet people online and have that social interaction helped shape who I am and how I interact with people. And coming to college and being known as that guy who started eSports-it’s fun, it’s cool!”

What life experiences or skills have you gained playing videogames?

“A lot of these video games like League of Legends involve working as a team. When you’re thrown into a team, you must work with these people and communicate effectively in order to win the game. These skills that you develop playing video games are applicable in the real world- if you’re working on a project, you have to be able to work with others to accomplish a common goal and something a lot of these videogames hone in on is being able to communicate with each other.”

What do you think the future holds for college eSports?

“Hopefully with big publicity pushes and with companies giving contracts to eSports teams and players, people will start to recognize eSports more and more. I hope young kids will be able to practice eSports if they realize that’s where their passion lies.”

What advice would you give to aspiring eSports players?

“The biggest piece of advice I have is that if you’re passionate about playing a game- keep playing the game. If you’re trying to start an eSports program at your own school, find other people who are like-minded, and you can do some crazy things when you get enough people and momentum behind you.  Just keep trying- the worst thing that can happen is that they can say no and then you go back next year and eventually an opportunity will present itself. And when the opportunity does present itself- that’s the chance you have to take.”

Drew University’s Esports Advisor, Makana Agcaoili says, “Luke Henry has been President of the Drew eSports program and is also Captain of the League of Legends Team. This year, he led the League team to a first-place victory in the Landmark Tournament (A tournament sponsored directly by Riot Games). Thus, the Drew League of Legends team was able to compete against the best university teams across the nation. Furthermore, his dedication to supporting his team’s success while empowering all other members of the eSports community at Drew University has been integral to the success of our program. Through the eSports team, international and domestic students have become more intertwined than ever before at Drew University. Luke truly symbolizes leadership, hard work, and dedication.”

Damian Majewski (Stockton University) – ECAC Esports Fortnite Player of the Year

Fun Fact: Damian holds a black belt in Taekwondo and is on the student senate.

Damian is a senior from Barnegat, New Jersey studying Political Science and Pre-Law. Damian led Stockton’s Fortnite team to a 2019 ECAC HV Gamer Con Championship title this past spring.

When did you get into Fortnite and decide you want to play competitively?

“At first I thought only little kids and frat bros played it. When I was an RA (Resident Assistant) though, my kids started playing it and eventually I tried it. What I really liked about the game was the building mechanics. I’ve played other battle royal games, but unlike Fortnite they don’t have the building mechanics. In other games if you get caught out in the open, you die instantly, whereas with Fortnite there’s that whole extra skill level component- the building. That strategic element is what attracted me to the game- it’s something new and is something we’ve never seen in a videogame before.”

What is your role on the Fortnite team?

“I consider myself the support player. I would carry the help and am responsible for the med kits, so I play on the back line. I would stay back and then my teammates would let me know if they need me to come back in. They’d be calling from the inside and I’d be calling from the outside- that’s how we’d get the full info for fights. The thing with being a support player is I need to carry the health pack, shields, and in Fortnite you only have five weapons slots, so you must choose what you want to carry with those limited number of slots. Often my teammates would carry more weapons while I carry the help, which would allow them to get into more fights than me. For the competitive aspect, you need to strategically plan your fights but also be prepared to make split-second calls during a game.”

When did you discover your passion for playing video games?

“I’ve played video games since I was six or seven on my Nintendo 64. I always wanted to finish first when playing games like Mario Kart, etc. I have always been competitive from a young age. When I was younger, maybe first or second grade, a Smash Bros Melee Tournament was held at our local high school.  I took home 7th place, which I thought was pretty good considering I was going up against high school kids. From that day on I knew that if I really liked playing a game and devoted the necessary time to practice and improve, I could get good at it.”

What experiences in life have videogames brought you?

“Most importantly, video games have brought my friends and I close together. Growing up, my friends and I would go home and play Xbox and Halo, spending quality time with people who share your passions. Even now video games continue to provide a great outlet for people who share a passion to meet one another. With video games, you can meet people you would have never met otherwise. Video games can bring people together who might not have had a common interest before.  That’s actually how I met my roommate in college- videogames brought me together with someone who shared a common interest as me- someone who I wouldn’t have met if not for video games.”

What are your thoughts on the future of college eSports?

“As I’m starting to get older, the entire eSports scene and the industry is just now starting to grow. It’s this huge thing to the point that it’s viable to now become a competitive eSports player, particularly at the collegiate level. Some high schools, even middle schools are starting to have eSports teams and there’s this huge opportunity now if you’re ever going to try and play games competitively, I think now would be the time to do it. eSports is something new and innovative that allows anyone to go online and play games with their friends.”

What advice would you give younger aspiring eSports players?

“Pick a genre of games that you like- shooting games, card games, puzzle games, strategy games, fighting games, etc.… Because most importantly you’ve got to enjoy what you’re playing.  If you’re not enjoying what you’re playing, you won’t want to devote your time to it. You also must think smart, not hard. Do a lot of self-reflection and analyze your gameplay, finding areas of your game you can improve upon. Also, make sure you don’t devote all your time to the game. Try to be well-rounded and do other activities; sometimes you just have to get outside and take your mind off of games. Even if you’re putting time into eSports, still make sure to focus on education and prioritize what’s important.”

Coach Demetrios Roubos said of Damian “Damian is a Summa Cum Laude Political Science student preparing for Law School. During the ECAC regular season his Fortnite team went 6-2. At HV Gamer Con his roster won ECAC Fortnite and Damian received one of two MVP awards. Damian consistently places in the top 5% of the Fortnite online cups. Outside of game he’s enrolled in the Stockton Honors Program, serves on Student Senate, has earned Deans List five consecutive semesters, is captain of the Stockton Ultimate Frisbee club sports team, and works two jobs on campus at IT services and as a resident assistant overseeing underclassmen housing. 

Jacob Williams (Texas Wesleyan University) – ECAC Esports FIFA Player of the Year

Fun Fact: Jacob holds world records for most consecutive times throwing a grape in the air and catching it in his mouth (174) and for having the most safety pins fit in his beard at one time (302).

Jacob is a junior from Ontario, Canada studying religious studies. Jacob originally played on the football team at Texas Wesleyan before an injury sidelined him.  However, Jacob decided he wasn’t going to let his injury stop him from competing. He worked to start a varsity FIFA team at Texas Wesleyan, and soon the team was competing in the ECAC.  Texas Wesleyan took home the 2019 ECAC FIFA Championships this past spring, led by standout player Jacob Williams.

What are some similarities, if any, between a team sport like football and eSports?

“For me, the team aspect is my favorite part. I’m meeting guys who I never would have met otherwise. Working as a team is my favorite part about it. I tried table tennis, but it wasn’t as fun because it’s more of a solo game where you’re competing by yourself. It was more of a grind and I didn’t enjoy it as much. Then we got this eSports program going. Eugene our program director helped me find a league for FIFA and we were happy to find the ECAC. We set to work making a team and I had to recruit and meet a lot of people I hadn’t met before, which was a good way for me to branch out and meet people. Our team has guys from all over the US and from countries around the world.”

When did you first start playing FIFA?

“I have always loved sports and got into sports videogames when I was around eight or nine years old. I’ve played a lot of 2k, Madden, NHL, and FIFA, but the first game I really started to focus on and get into was FIFA 14.”

Do you notice differences between versions of FIFA year to year?

“Absolutely. Every year it’s a new game. It can be kind of frustrating sometimes because you can get good at one game and then they release a new FIFA and you must relearn the game mechanics which can be hard sometimes. I know guys who can be good at one version of FIFA and then the next year aren’t nearly as good. It’s tough to get used to that.”

What is your role on the FIFA team?

“I started out as coach and captain and had to recruit guys to join the team. I guess that makes me a player coach. We practice a variety of drills and game modes to keep our skills sharp. Sometimes we’ll spend a whole practice just playing the training games in FIFA, and another practice we might play as only 1-star teams to practice playing without speed.”

Do you have any pro tips for this year’s FIFA game?

”Well something I’ve noticed is with penalties, when you’re trying to save penalties, for some reason the penalty kick taker always tilts his head toward the side of the net he’s going to shoot. Things like that can really come in clutch in close games.”

Do you have a favorite player and/or team you like to play with?

”My favorite team is Manchester United and I play with them as much as I can. This year it was a little tougher because they weren’t quite as good, but I like to play with actual teams as opposed to ultimate teams. Last year I played a lot and at one point was ranked the #4 overall FIFA player in the world. When I got to that point I thought ‘You know what? I can do this competitively- I’m not really losing.’ “

Do you have a favorite move in FIFA that you consider your go-to?

“I’d say my signature move is the “Roulette” followed by a “low shot” to the far post.”

What kind of style of FIFA do you play?

“My game is primarily based on short passing. I want the offense to work 100% of the time and I always aim to get a shot or solid look on goal with every possession. I don’t cross as often as other players.”

What would you say to someone who might question the value of playing video games like FIFA?

“Video games in general- a lot of people look at videogames and think you’re wasting time and not being productive. And I do think it can get to a point like that where playing too much can start to become a problem. However, I typically I find that for a many people, video games are beneficial to those who put the time into it because it helps you develop motor skills and a passion for strategic, academic-related activities. The great thing about eSports is that videogames have now grown from isolated, individual solo player games to true team games that help develop real team skills. A lot of my buddies who play videogames have an easier time focusing; both in school and when playing other sports. Because of the eSports program, lots of people are coming out of their shell and getting involved on campus, making friends. Some of my best friends from home and I might not be as close as we are if not for FIFA. It’s almost a life-style for those who enjoy it- you come over, play FIFA late into the night, you spend time with each other, and you end up building strong relationships in the process.”

Where do you see eSports going in the future?

“Esports is huge and is getting bigger every year. Three or four years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined that one day I’d be playing competitively or think that I would be interviewed for ECAC FIFA player of the year. It was always something I did for fun, but now it’s something that I can compete at, train for, and is something I can work hard to improve. We’re still at the point where some people might question the legitimacy of eSports, but I do feel that within three years people won’t be able to ignore all the progress the sport has made and everyone will become exposed to eSports in everyday life.”

What advice would you give younger aspiring eSports players?

“Have fun with it. If it gets to the point where you’re playing too much and it gets to be a grind and you become really frustrated trying to get better and compete online in these tournaments- take a break or find a new game. A lot of people burn out when they hear about tournaments, but it’s important to remember that the whole point is that FIFA and eSports should be fun. Obviously, we want to get better and compete, but you need to have that balance of training and enjoying yourself- otherwise you’re just going to plateau.”

Esports Director Eugene Frier had this to say, “Jacob captained and coached our team a second place finish in the fall (with him having an impressive 8.5 goals per game and only being scored on .5 times a game, going undefeated) and to the championship in the spring (only dropping one game in that process personally). He not only prepared the team for games, but also led video reviews of previous games breaking down footage to help his team improve. He did all this as a 4.0 student and was also hired as an Orientation Leader and Resident Assistant this year. He is a stellar leader and standout FIFA player.”

Mason Pfingsten (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) – ECAC Esports Overwatch Player of the Year

Fun Fact: Mason has been to 24 MLB parks!

Mason (class of 2020) is majoring in Sports Management and has made a dominating impact as the main tank on the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Overwatch team.

How does it feel to be selected for ECAC Esports Overwatch Player of the Year?

“It feels really good! I wouldn’t be interviewing or selected for player of the year without the support and drive from my teammates. I love every single one of them.”

When did you discover your passion for video games and route to go competitive?

“I’ve played video games since I was a kid and growing up, I played sports, so I have always been competitive. I used to play Call of Duty, NBA2K, and Madden a lot. I won a Madden tournament and was top 200 in NBA2k13.”

Did you join ULL’s Esports program when you first became a student there?

“I actually went to South Eastern which is about two hours away from ULL. I went there for two years and then transferred last year. My friend was on the team and I started playing with him the summer I transferred. I tried out for the team and got a position on the B team. There was someone who had to leave which opened the main tank role. I got called up to the A team when we competed in our first tournament in Pennsylvania. I performed really well at the event and that locked in my spot on the team.”

How has video games impacted your life?

“It keeps my competitive drive alive since I’m in college now and not playing any traditional sports. Playing baseball my whole has made me very competitive and that has been the key to playing video games. All I want to do is win and do what is best for my team.”

How does it feel to compete in intercollegiate esports?

“It is really exciting! I knew I was good enough at a lot of video games to compete with and against top players. Playing sports growing up and learning how to keep composure to deal with situations has helped a lot as well.”

University of Louisiana at Lafayette Esports Director and Coach, Cody Abshire, said the following about Mason, “Mason joined the ULL Overwatch team last Summer in 2018 and has grown so much as a player. He has become our star player on the team, shot calling, and becoming a formidable main tank that leaves other main tanks fearing. Before Mason joined the team, our team was lacking a crucial main tank, especially with the growing GOATS META. His first demonstration of skill was at HUE Fest in Pennsylvania. He outperformed many of the varsity main tanks that were there and even put up a fair fight against Maryville’s main tank. We came out top 8 of 16 because of him. We even managed to place top 16 in TESPA in our region due to his main tanking and shot calling skills. His next LAN experience was at BULLY LAN in Mississippi State, where we became winners. Our 3.8k team beat a 4.1k team because of him. Lastly, Mason has become our Esports Manager under the rank of our Esports Director, me. He has helped to make sure everything was in pace for our LAN trip and all our players had what the needed. He’s even stepped up to making sure we had a list of improvements we need for our players and organization that we have not considered. Mason has stepped up so much at his time here at the university and for the Overwatch team.”

Kyle Ramke (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) – ECAC Esports Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Player of the Year

Fun Fact: Before Kyle was into Smash , I actually played a lot of Pokémon competitively.

Kyle is a junior studying informatics and hopes to run web servers. He played a major role in helping carry his Ragin’ Cajun Super Smash Bros. Ultimate team to an undefeated and championship winning season.

How does it feel to be selected as ECAC Esports Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Player of the Year?

“It feels good! I have been working towards getting better at this game for the past two and a half years. It took a year of going 0-2 but it has paid off.”

When did you discover your passion for video and the route to go competitive?

“It started in high school around my junior year. I would always play video games, but my best friend told me that smash was coming out for the Nintendo 3DS and to buy it. He was already competitive and would destroy me. Ever since then, I went to my first tournament in February of 2017, saw how cool people were and realized how much I loved the community.”

How has video games impacted your life?

“Amazingly. My parents weren’t very lenient, especially when I was 17. Thy wouldn’t let me travel freely. I begged them for months to let me go to a tournament that was an hour and half away with friends I met at a different tournament. Ever since then I have been able to travel to so many places such as Florida and Atlanta. It has given me the opportunity to travel and meet amazing people.”

Super Smash is a pretty intense game with a lot of combinations, how have you handled that mentally?

“I’ve struggled with mentality in Smash for a long time. It takes a lot of practice to get good and I’m working towards competing at the best level I can. It’s a very big game and you need to realize that every set you go into, you have respect for your opponent. You must have the ‘I can win, but anything can happen’ mindset. I didn’t have that mindset for a long time, and it effected my performance.”

Coach Ian Madray said this about Kyle, “Kyle has been the most valuable player for ULL’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate team. Kyle’s presence on the team lead to an undefeated run and championship during the ECAC Esports season. As the leadoff player, Kyle has led the team to have the 3rd highest stock differential in regular season play. With 16/18 stocks taken during the quarter final match, Kyle has shown to be the most dominant player.”

Established in 1938, the ECAC is the nation’s largest Conference, ranging in location from Maine to Georgia, and westerly to Missouri. The ECAC hosts numerous championships in men’s and women’s sports across Divisions I, II and III, offering opportunities for thousands of student-athletes. For more information, visit www.ecacsports.com.

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