Danbury, Conn –  The ECAC has selected its major awards for Coach of the Year, the Spring 2021 season and Year for League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, VALORANT, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Fortnite, Madden,  FIFA, presented by iBUYPOWER and HyperX.

ECAC Esports Coach of the Year


Alex Gunnerson, Randolph-Macon College

Alex has been instrumental to the growth of Randolph-Macon College Esports. This year, in particular, Alex has exemplified what a good coach should be. Due to the pandemic, Alex had to assume the duties of coaching all the esports teams alone.His students have grown exponentially. They report that Alex is responsive, understands macro and micro play, and, most importantly, he is invested in the development of their mind and character. Under his coaching, the Hearthstone team won the ECAC Conference Championship, and all R-MC Esports teams reached play-offs in their respective divisions despite Alex needing to coach all nine teams in six sports alone.
Alex has an uncanny ability to reach student athletes where they are and to have them open up and begin to take ownership of their future. He role models good sportsmanship, leadership, and integrity. Alex recruits students, and he invests in the whole student to make sure that they are performing at their best, and they feel valued for their unique identities, skills, and contributions.

Quote from Alex:

“I could not ask for better Esports Student Athletes at Randolph-Macon College. I want to thank them for all their hard work this year. I don’t need to set an alarm in the morning because I cannot wait to come into work every day and see them.”

Quotes from R-MC Esports:

“In Alex’s second year with the program, he has brought all of our teams to new peaks. From the Fall, every single ECAC team improved their record and placings this Spring. In Hearthstone’s first playoff berth, they won the Championship this Spring. Rocket League went from a 3-3 team to a 5-3 team. Overwatch went from 2-4 to 5-3, and Fortnite went from 5th to 4th. What a year of improvements from Randolph-Macon. They have truly taken one step closer to being one of the most dominant schools in the ECAC across all of the games they compete in.”

“All of the teams at RMC made it to at least the playoffs, and our Hearthstone team won their championship. This was the best year RMC esports has ever had, and I believe Alex had a big part in that. With the chaos of this past year, Alex has had a positive and encouraging attitude through it all. Pushing everyone to do their best, not only in esports but with their schoolwork as well.”

“Every day of the week Monday through Sunday Alex has pushed the rocket league team to its limits to get better. All year long helping us keep our heads up in very tough situations. His understanding of a good mentality and pairing that with his previous experience as an esports player and now coach has helped push us to great limits and improve in ways we never thought we would improve!”

“With overseeing our practices and helping out with our team captain the best that he can. He puts all of his time into Esports and into teaching us new aspects of esports making sure everyone’s mental is ok, making sure we have a balanced schedule with getting enough sleep, getting us a health coordinator to help us with diet and exercise. All while making sure we have good enough grades to play, and he is not afraid to put his foot down and bench someone or even an entire esports team if they’re grades aren’t up to par.”

ECAC Esports Players of the Semester & Players of the Year 

Players of the Spring 2021 Semester:


Overwatch Player & Rookie:
Kevin “Ablindswan” Elser, Post University, So., Watertown, CT
Ablindswan continued his role as captain of the Post University Overwatch team for a second semester and was a leader in and out of game.  On tanks like Reinhardt, he frequently secured team-fight victories and helped secure objectives as well as keep the team focused on the next fight and what everyone needed to do to give the team the best chance to win.  Out of game he was always encouraging teammates to improve by utilizing programs like Aimlabs or jumping into ranked matches with teammates outside of practice time.  Swan was a big reason Post came just one win away from their first ever Overwatch playoff berth.


Spencer “PieMonster” Mah, Johnson & Wales University
As the captain of the Hearthstone Team, Spencer continues to show his love and passion for gaming while guiding the team forward ensuring the continued success of the program. He is always willing to learn and willing to teach his teammates when they ask for help.


Hearthstone Rookie:
Dustin “Ev Angel” Davis, Johnson & Wales University
Ev won the school’s first Championship in the NECC after 3 upsets in the bracket stage. He beat the 1st overall seed 3-2 after the student had an undefeated season. He also allowed the team to compete in the ECAC and ABC as the third man the school needed. We are happy to have Dustin and excited to see him grow.


Jared “Money” Money, Elmira College, Jr., Templeton, CA
Jared worked as the VALORANT IGL (in game leader) and the team rallied behind him and depended on his poise and composure to orchestrate attacks/defense. Jared really took upon himself to become a “student” of the game and study VODs. Jared was always near the top of the leaderboard, win or lose. Helping Elmira secure playoffs two semesters in a row, with the Spring semester guiding us to the #7 overall seed; Jared took it upon himself to come up big when the team needed.


John “ChefJohnnyFuego” Arciszewski, Post University, So., Ludlow, MA
Johnny was a rock for the Post University VALORANT team this semester, he was consistently the person keeping morale up and the team focused on the next round during heated matches.  He also proved himself very flexible in-game, learning new agents, roles, and weapons throughout the season.



Co-VALORANT Rookie & Player:

Christian “Juicy” Dumadag, College of Staten Island, Staten Island, New York

Christian has been dominating all year long in the game of Valorant, winning ECC Player of the Year in the Fall 2020 semester and now leading the CSI Dolphins team to an undefeated regular season in the ECAC Spring 2021 semester with no signs of slowing down. With a 1.4 k./d ratio, the highest on the team, Christian was always listed in the kill feed doing something spectacular, whether it was securing a few 4ks by stealthliy flanking the enemy team or setting the offensive tone for his team, as he averaged 5 first bloods per game, when he held his ground with the Operator. Christian also brought leadership and in-game communication skills that were able to calm the team down in a sticky situation or provide positive reinforcement when the team is clicking on all cylinders.



Rocket League:
Dakota “Atokad” Lydem, Post University, Sr., Thomaston, CT
Both of Post Rocket League teams looked up to Atokad this season, and for good reason. The Supersonic Legend frequently carried games with his brilliant mechanics and impeccable game sense.  Atokad led Post University to their first ever Sweet 16 with wins over Post University Purple and Stockton University in the playoffs.  Over the course of their 8 regular season matches and 3 playoff matches, Atokad notched a total of 16,471 points, 52 goals, 24 assists, and 55 saves.


Rocket League Rookie:
Anthony “ant_” Colacchio, Johnson & Wales University, Fr.
Ant stepped in the first semester as the captain of the yellow team and continued to prove that he was a leader. He always ensured that the team was on time, ready to play in all games. Ant continues to push his teammates to improve by climbing the ranked ladder. He has stated he hopes to make the Blue team one day as captain.


Co-Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Player & Rookie:
Kenneth “Ghost007” Rodriguez, Post University, So., The Bronx, NY
Kenny’s Snake was a big reason why Post University was able to secure their first ever SSBU playoff berth.  Sneaky C4’s, grenades and nikita’s ended many opponent’s stock.  He also regularly helped the other members of the team keep a positive mindset during close matches.


Co-Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Player & Rookie:
Sofronio Lorenzo, College of Staten Island, Staten Island, New York
Sofrito carried the newly created CSI SSBU team on his back this semester leading them to a 6-1 regular season record with their only loss coming against number #1 seed NJCU. Sofrito’s teammates jokingly get upset with him because there have been games where he has either wiped out the entire opposing team by himself or took 7 or more stocks and they simply don’t get to participate as much as they would like that week because of his dominance. Sofrito’s character profile, while it is not vast, he makes sure that he becomes a specialist with whichever character he chooses to learn. He then becomes a master of learning everything about the character from stage selection, to knowing which characters to avoid to, in order to provide the most benefit to his team whenever he enters the arena, which is why I nominate Sofronio for SSBU Player of the Semester.

Kesten “Sype” Taylor, Muskingum University, Sr., New Concord, OH
Kesten led Muskingum University’s Fortnite Black team to the 2021 Fortnite Spring Championship, earning MVP honors. In their dominant Spring season, the Muskingum duo led the ECAC both in eliminations and victory royales. The leader of the Muskingum Black duo both in and out of game, Kesten was also named ECAC Player of the Week twice.

Fortnite Rookie:
Sab “TW1G” Chizhik, Randolph-Macon College, Fr., West Friendship, MD
TW1G is the other half of our Fortnite team that got 5th place in the Fall and 14th place at the start of the Spring Playoffs. Clutch performance after clutch performance, in the 4 weeks of Playoffs, the duo jumped all the way to 4th place to finish the semester.


FIFA 21 Player & Rookie:
Victor “vitinhojeronimo” Jeronimo, St. John’s University / Scarlet Tempest Esports, Sr., Jackson Heights, NY
It was a great season with a lot of incredibly competitive games from start to finish. Victor had a total goal difference of +55 and his overall record was 21-5 (including the game where he won by forfeit). It was hard for him to think about specific accomplishments, because each win felt like an accomplishment due to the number of talented players he faced. But, for sure, the fact that he was able to beat the defending champion, Lucas Carvalho, in the final was the highlight of the season. Lucas was the only player he did not win at least one game against during the regular season, and he knew he would have a very tough final. However, after making some adjustments to his playing style and formation with the regular season games in mind, he was fortunate enough to win the first game 5-2 and the second game on a golden goal after a 3-3 draw.


Madden 21 Player & Rookie:
Rocco “TTV_RonnieVee” Veltri, Southern Connecticut State University, Jr., Oxford, CT
In Rocco’s first year of competition, he ran through the regular season with a record of 7-0.  He won his first playoff matchup and advanced to Round 3 (semi-finals).  His overall season was very impressive with this being his first time competing on this level.


Co-NBA2K21 Player & Rookie:
Zackary “Z Money Hicks” Hickson, Post University, So., Torrington, CT
Z had an incredible first season as an NBA 2K21 team captain, securing a playoff spot for himself and helping to recruit other students to the 2k team.  In addition to competing every week, he streamed his matches to the rest of the school helping to spread awareness of the esports program and team.


Co-NBA2K21 Player & Rookie:
Shabarii Noiis, College of Staten Island, Staten Island, New York
Shabarii brought the noise this season into the NBA 2k league and dominated the entire way, leading to an undefeated regular season. Losing only 2 rounds all season, Shabarii excelled with whichever team he or his opponents chose. He was able to adapt to anyone’s style offensively and defensively in order to come away with the victory. So whether he had to use Giannis from Milwaukee to score 60 points in the paint to overcome a tough opponent or play the pick and pop game with Dallas to leave the opponent scrambling to make adjustments, Shabarii always found a way to victory.


League of Legends:
Han “Jerry” Luo, Johnson & Wales University, Sr.
Jerry has always wanted to push himself and his teammates to new levels. All his teammates would tell you they improved each year because of Jerry. Jerry was not afraid to speak his mind when it came to VOD reviews, or even in game calls. He wants to succeed and is willing to put in all the effort needed to do so.

Players of the Year (2020-2021):


Nolan “shinobu” Badore, Johnson & Wales University, Jr.
Nolan has essentially been the programs most reliable student as he continues to push the Overwatch team to new heights. Nolan is the student that JWU turns to when there are incoming students as he is the programs MVP.


Overwatch Rookie:
Thomas “Dr Watur” Dixon, Randolph-Macon College, Court House, VA
Thomas walked on to the B team in the Fall semester and worked his way all the way up to a starting spot on the A team after his amazing performance in the Fall as the main voice of the team in game. As a former console player, he has not only learned mouse and keyboard, but he has also reached Master Tier on PC this semester.


Josh “Lemons” Brown, Randolph-Macon College, Jr., Newport News, VA
Josh is the Captain of the Championship Hearthstone Team, he is a legend ranked player that has the unbelievable leadership to help the Director of Esports schedule practices, games, as well as assist with the stream. Winner of the Director’s Award (highest award offered) at Randolph-Macon this Spring.


Hearthstone Rookie:
Jon “JonnyGoldApple” Scholl, Randolph-Macon College, Fr., Charlottesville, VA
After joining the R-MC Esports program as an analyst that never played the game in the Fall, Jon earned a starting spot on the Championship team. His amazing improvement and consistency lead the team to an 8-match win streak and is what has earned him the Hearthstone MVP award from ECAC as well.


Noah “RetinaGames” DeRossi-Goldberg, Providence College, Jr., Dartmouth, MA
Noah led his team as the captain to the Sweet 16 but more importantly, led the entire program by example as a student leader. He worked with other captains to coach them on leadership skills and analyze matches. He volunteered as a caster and analyst for other teams. Subbed himself out so that seniors could play their final match. Attended college fairs as a student esports representative, was a highlighted speaker during accepted students’ day. He has done all of this while being a Resident Assistant. Noah has inspired the whole of the student body through his charisma and dedication.


Erik “Meech” Loneker, Post University
Erik ‘Meech’ Loneker joined the VALORANT team as the underdog, learning VALORANT from scratch and placing in Iron (the lowest rank tier). Not only has he blasted his way to Platinum, but he frequently brought the fire to his opponents, pulling off impressive plays that gave his team the edge they needed.


Rocket League:
Conor “BigCitySlams” Brennan, Randolph-Macon College, Jr., Fairfax, VA
After leading the team in every single stat this Fall and earning himself the ECAC Player of the Semester Award in the Fall, Conor only got better this Spring, leading our Rocket League to a new peak with a 5-3 Record after going 3-3 in the Fall.


Rocket League Rookie:
Bill “Keramik” Koch, Post University, So., Ubstadt-Weiher, Germany
Keramik has been a staple of Post University Rocket League ever since the Esports program launched last fall.  He immediately made his mark in the 2020 fall season, earning a starting spot on the Varsity team and helping to secure Post University’s first ever ECAC Playoff berth.  He didn’t slow down in the spring season, earning another playoff spot for Post University Rocket League all while playing from Germany with a 6-hour time difference and less than ideal ping.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate:
Raimiel “RR” Rodriguez, Johnson & Wales University, Sr.
Baseball star, workaholic, and Lucina main – Ray was an important part of the program over the past two years. From day 1, he came into our school smash tournament and upset our #1 seed, he then continued to show his top-tier performance on the field as a baseball player and on the switch.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Rookie:
Hector “Frootpac” Rivera, Johnson & Wales University, Fr.
Frootpac climbed through the ranks in the annual Smash tournament to become one of the top players for JWU.

Johnny “Eight Gates” Makuch, Randolph-Macon College, So., Gates Mills, OH
Johnny is the Captain of the Fortnite team that led them to 5th place in the Fall and 14th place at the start of the Spring Playoffs. Clutch performance after clutch performance, in the 4 weeks of Playoffs, the duo jumped all the way to 4th place to finish the semester.

Fortnite Rookie:
Sab “TW1G” Chizhik, Randolph-Macon College, Fr., West Friendship, MD
TW1G is the other half of our Fortnite team that got 5th place in the Fall and 14th place at the start of the Spring Playoffs. Clutch performance after clutch performance, in the 4 weeks of Playoffs, the duo jumped all the way to 4th place to finish the semester.


FIFA 21:
Lucas “Sienaheights2” Carvalho, Siena Heights University, So., São Sebastião, São Paulo
In the Fall 2020 season, Lucas led an undefeated season, winning the Fall Championship with an average lead of 3 goals per game and only dropped 1 game to Chelan in the Championship match for whole Fall season. In the spring, Lucas completed the regular season 6-1, with a significant average lead as well. Lucas made it to the Championship game where he lost his second game all year. This makes a solid and exciting 17-2 year for Lucas in FIFA while winning 2 trophies for the University, and 2 medals for himself as well as the MVP trophy for the Fall season.


Madden 21:
Doug “TooFresh” Crawford, Muskingum University, So., Dade City, FL
Doug Crawford used a magical run to capture the 2021 Madden PS4 Spring Championship. Despite dropping two matches early in the season, Doug completely revamped his playstyle switching the team he was using mid-season. With these adjustments, Doug was able to take down the undefeated #1 seed in the tournament and reach the Championship where he would meet a foe who had beaten him earlier in the season. There, Doug would drop the first game and find himself in a significant hole in game two. But, just as Doug had battled back to reach the Championship, he used back-to-back interceptions in the second half to come from behind and win game two. A game-winning field goal as time expired in game three would give Doug the series victory, and the ECAC Championship.

The greatest players are those who can overcome adversity and make adjustments when they need to. Despite two in-season losses, Doug was able to use those as lessons to be stronger in the playoffs. And in the Championship when things looked all but lost, Doug refused to give up and was able to battle back for the championship.


Madden 21 Rookie:
Evan “The Molander” Moreland, WVU Potomac State College, So.
Evan finished the 2020-2021 season with an overall record of 17-1. He placed 3rd in the Fall and returned in the spring to take home the Spring 2021 Xbox Championship.


NBA 2K21 Player & Rookie:
Lloyd “lloydflyguy” Guyzer, Johnson & Wales University, Fr.
Lloyd is a soccer player for the school as well as the top 2K player for JWU.  He is ready to come back this fall and take on the crow to redeem himself and he is always looking forward to the big tournement.


League of Legends:
Han “Jerry” Luo, Johnson & Wales University, Sr.
Jerry has always wanted to push himself and his teammates to new levels. All his teammates would tell you they improved each year because of Jerry. Jerry was not afraid to speak his mind when it came to VOD reviews, or even in game calls. He wants to succeed and is willing to put in all the effort needed to do so.

The ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) is an eighty-two-year-old organization with well over 200 member schools across all three NCAA Divisions – I, II and III. The ECAC exists to enhance the experience of student-athletes participating in intercollegiate athletics and provides great value for universities and colleges by sponsoring championships, leagues, bowl games, tournaments and other competitions throughout the Northeast. The ECAC’s esports platform is growing and now totals more than sixty colleges and universities and is expanding the geographic footprint for the conference nationally. The ECAC is also sponsoring competitions and leagues involving other varsity and club sports that do not fall under the umbrella of the NCAA.

Stay updated on the latest news, championships and more by connecting with the ECAC on Facebook (ECACSports), Twitter (@ECACSports) and Instagram (@ECACSports)