Outstanding ECAC Staff Member of the Season – Johnson “Minidrones” Scoggins
Assistant Director & Director of League Operations
Words from the ECAC Esports Community:
“Not only are they helpful in each ticket/situation, they are extremely kind, friendly, and respond accordingly in very good time frames. They dedicate their time and are very passionate towards ECAC and helping any team/student with issues. They deserve recognition for their hard work!”
“Minidrones has helped out the Fortnite tournament community a lot this season. He responds to messages in a timely manner.”
“Very helpful with any questions people had and would respond in a timely manner.”
“He has made this Fortnite season an incredibly enjoyable time. It is my first time competing in any Esports and I was very nervous but Minidrones was always there to make light-hearted jokes and have fun even when everyone else forgot how to have fun.”
“They are so helpful and work all the time!”
“Minidrones, when handling Fortnite, which I feel is one of the more “unforgiving” titles offered, takes his role with firmness and with a positive attitude. He is very good about following up, very good about being kind and very good about being professional. I hope he is running FN again this coming spring.”
“Best of the best.”
“Always available to answer rulebook questions, go through scoring with me, and generally be an awesome admin and resource for us! 10/10 support.”
“He should be nominated because of the good attitude he put towards everyone in the community and helped a lot!”
“Minidrones was always a name I knew of this semester when working with ECAC. I did not spend much time in the ECAC discord in the beginnings, however he was a household name for our school. Any questions we had he was always there to make sure they were answered. Along with at the LAN event, he was pulled in every direction to try and keep it running smooth. Even with all the stress of that, he was able to keep a cool and calm presence and ran it extremely well.”
“Minidrones was amazing and made sure this season happened the way it was suppose to be.”
“Minidrones: every time we needed you, you were kind, professional, open, honest, and fair. You have the ability to say “No, actually you are wrong and here is why” in a way that is not only unoffensively, but builds confidence in everything ECAC. I know you are on it and have everything under control. You just are confident and professional. Not only this but you always make time to work with players directly who have questions or concerns. Every single time our players have walked away not only knowing that their opinions were heard, but also appreciated and with a fair and honest answer to their question that they feel happy with.”
“Minidrones has helped me many times in general whether that be with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate questions or Fortnite Duos Build questions. This was my first job as a Head Esports Coach for a university and I always felt comfortable reaching out to Johnson for assistance throughout this Season, and I can’t thank him enough for all he’s done in terms of helping me and our Student-Athletes at Five Towns College as well as the entire ECAC Community in general. Thank you Johnson!”
“Always super active within the discord and always around to help out when needed. Don’t need help? that’s ok because he’s always chillin in VC which you can join and just hangout and play games! :D”
“As a Director of an ECAC member college, it has been a pleasure to work with Johnson “Minidrones” all season. I can say with great confidence that this 2023 fall season has been the best over the last 3 years, if not the best for ECAC since its inception. I firmly believe that this is due to the great work that everyone at ECAC has been doing to better the conference as a whole. Johnson being a key member and leader of that has only improved things further. I am excited for our continued membership with the ECAC and believe Johnson to be more than worthy of “Outstanding ECAC Staff of the season.”
“Attentive, helpful, present, just the goat.”
“Was very helpful with solving issues that we had throughout the season and genuinely cares not only about ECAC staff but all the schools within.”
“Over the course of this semester, we had to open several tickets ranging from innocuous to very serious. Regardless of severity, Minidrones always made himself available to help us sort out our issues. Sometimes it was as simple as a roster adjustment and other times it involved matters of competitive integrity. Minidrones was always prompt and understanding in helping us accomplish what we needed to get done so that our players were taken care of. Minidrones is a core part of our extremely positive experience as first time competitors in ECAC and we look forward to working more together in Spring!”
Director of the Season – Gidd Sasser, Catawba College
Words from Catawba College Esports:
“Continues to do more and more every year to help improve each and every players lives inside and outside the game. Every semester he helps directly with all 6 teams we have almost never missing a single match no matter the team. Genuinely makes everyone feel like they have someone there that is always willing to help us with whatever problems we have.”
“The amount of work put in by Gidd for the esports team as well as the school as a whole is insane. Even for games he isn’t as well versed in he takes the time to understand and learn to better help the teams succeed. Furthermore, the amount of things he does for the community and state of North Carolina as a whole is awe inspiring.”
“Been at many institutions including Maryville and I still believe Gidd has done one of the best jobs a director can do. With the resources he has, he has managed to create championship rosters year after year. In my final year I was brought back to coach Overwatch and play in Valorant. We had a flawless Overwatch season with LoL also on having a winning season as well. As a person he is one of the most patient and understanding individuals you could ask for. In my three years at Catawba, Gidd has been a great influence on me not just in game but also academically. Helping in bringing me back to school after a 2 year break where I worked back home in Canada.”
“THE GOAT OF ALL AND INCLINES HIS TEAMS TO BE AT THEIR HIGHEST POTENTIAL. HAS AN INSANE AMOUNT OF LOVE FOR THE WORK HE PUTS IN TO BENEFIT THE WHOLE ORGANIZATION.”
“Gidd has done nothing but put our school’s esports program as his priority and give his utmost support to every individual player that competes under him since he first arrived at Catawba. He has provided everything from in game coaching to out of game life advice and strives to make sure that every single player is a better version of themselves by the time they exit the collegiate scene. Besides that, it is noticeable to everyone at Catawba that Gidd is always looking for ways for the program to be even more successful than it already is all while holding true to the core value of winning and keeping up with all 7 teams worth of players.”
“Quite literally best director. Helps all of his students however he can whether it be housing or academic advice. Has built a very successful varsity program!”
“He single handedly carries the program!”
“He works really hard to ensure everyone has the opportunity to compete in esports here.”
“Gidd is always putting in a lot of effort to see every member of the Catawba Esports program perform at their best, and he led the program to its current successes.”
“6 teams made dominant playoff runs and we brought home a second championship in Overwatch with his help!”
“He’s more than a director for our program. He’s a friend. A guy that you can go and talk to about classes, esports, and even just life. He’s willing to help us out at a moment’s notice, like when our campus internet goes out and we have a LAN party at his house just to compete, and hold us accountable for when we stay up waaaaaay too late before our 8am class. Gidd consistently gives us the support we need to grow to our fullest potential. I cannot view our program being as successful as it is without him. He’s not any director. He’s our director.”
“HES THE GOAT, THE GOAT”
“Gidd takes the time to learn and understand the meta of every single game played at his institution. I play Overwatch, and he is consistently up to date with what we are doing and what we need to work on, and I know he does it for several other games. He has built up our confidence as players through his ability to teach from his countless hours of practice, and his ability to manage multiple point of views at once.”
“Gidd has spent day and night working with each and every team, teaching about the game, researching other teams, giving us the tools we need to succeed, and being a friend and mentor to all of us. The Catawba esports team would not be anywhere close to as successful if it weren’t for Gidd’s hard work and dedication to each team and the players. As a player on Overwatch, I can confidently say that we would not of had an undefeated season and secured the championship if it was not for Gidd being the best coach we could ask for.”
“Gidd does so much for his students, his program, and the general collegiate esports space. He’s truly passionate about everything he does and does not get enough praise. He deserves this recognition a lot.”
“He is always available when you need him. He gets to know his team and bonds really well with us.”
“The way Gidd cares about every student is inspiring. I have never met someone like him, and he helps me be a better player and a better person.”
“After almost four years of being under Gidd’s guidance I can say that he has impacted me for the better using what I love, games, as a medium to be a better person. He does his best for us at all times even when things can get rough whether in game or personally, he will always look for the best solution for everyone involved.”
“His guidance brings us to try harder with every series without being overbearing, his character has always been polite, focused, and funny (in his own special way) I wouldn’t want to be under any other director and I aspire to be half the coach that he is.”
“In 2018, the College launched the first varsity esports program in the state of North Carolina, and as Vice President, we were fortunate to hire Gidd Sasser. Since this time, Sasser has led the program to multiple championships, including an Overwatch 2 ECAC championship this Fall 2023. More importantly, the esports program has grown from 12 to nearly 50 varsity student-athletes, and Gidd earned the promotion to Director this year. The Esports program is highly visible, engaged, and involved across campus with resident assistants, student government, and orientation leaders. In addition to his directing and coaching, Sasser serves on various esports committees, and is a valued member of our Title IX team and on-call emergency response team.”
“Gidd is an exceptional ambassador from esports and well deserving as being recognized in this way.” Respectfully, Dr. Jared Tice, Senior Vice President
“He’s the best.”
“In his first year as official director, every team made it to playoffs with multiple teams playing for 3rd place trophies and the Overwatch 2 team making it to the championship. Besides the accolades this season, he is someone who genuinely cares about his players and wants what is best for them, he is there for everyone and is willing to help at any time, he is always just a phone call away no matter what time. He is a genuine person who cares for everyone, not only with his team, but the people he works with within the institution. He makes everyone he interacts with feel heard and cared for and I think he is highly deserving of this award and much more in his life!”
“He’s my goat. Best director I’ve ever had. Super supportive willing to spend time with all of his players and individually support them to be the best they can be!”
Coach of the Season – Matthew “Daffy” Van Epps, Wichita State University
Words from WSU Esports:
“Daffy took WSU Rocket League to new heights and achievements this Fall. From having little to no high placements in events, to forging the way with elite performances every time the team competed. Daffy has fully turned the program around.”
“He turned WSU Rocket League into a team that can reach ceilings they never could before. Prior to having Daffy, the team was having a hard time figuring out what to do and when daffy showed up, he showed continuous support and leadership which made the WSU Rocket League team a force to be reckon with.”
“Daffy joined our program this semester and has already had a huge impact on performance, leading us to our best finishes in ECAC for both our Varsity and JV programs, a first for the program in the conference.”
Overwatch 2 Outstanding Player of the Season – Zachary Smith, Catawba College
Zachary, known as Zac, is a Junior Psychology major at Catawba College. On the CATU Overwatch 2 team, Zac has put in the time and effort that the team deserved, largely contributing to the team’s accomplishments. Formerly a console player, Zac continues to play his heart out every game, maintaining phenomenal healing and damage despite the new platform. His hard work paid off, leading his lead to secure the championship gold in the ECAC Overwatch 2 Contenders division this Fall 2023 season. Aside from his excellent gameplay, Zac is also an honors student and the leader of multiple clubs at Catawba College.
Overwatch 2 Outstanding Rookie of the Season – Chase Zobel, Russell Sage College
Chase is a transfer student who is brand new to Russell Sage College Esports. In his rookie season, he was able to secure the position as the main tank and build a strong bond with his team during his first semester. He has shown great leadership, tenacity, and sportsmanship throughout scrimmages and games, proving himself as not only a great player but a great friend. Overall, he is a significant addition to the community/team at Russell Sage College.
Chase was the program’s standout MVP of the Fall 2023 semester during his first season with the team. He used his pure talent to help lead the Overwatch 2 team to playoffs, despite entering a higher division this semester. Chase communicates well in-game, giving the team a strong in-game playstyle to rally around. He used his remarkably calm and positive attitude to help rally his teammates, no matter how intense the matches and scrimmages became. His impact was profoundly positive, and he exceeded every expectation the program had for him in his first semester of competition.
VALORANT Outstanding Player of the Season – Raven Pacheco, Brooklyn College
Raven, also known as Sky, is a Sophomore Business Administration major at Brooklyn College. This semester, Raven served as both the captain of the Brooklyn College VALORANT White team, and as a club officer, responsible for ensuring that needs were met not only for her team but other teams at Brooklyn College as well. Despite a rocky start, Raven was persistent in maintaining strong synergy and organization, creating cohesiveness across teams. As more than just a leader, Raven averaged a 1.5 KDA, served as the primary utility player, and brought a decisive voice to team communications. Through her efforts, the Brooklyn College VALORANT White Team became a playoff powerhouse, upsetting the #3 seed in the first round of playoffs before falling in a nail-biting match against the #6 seed in the ECAC VALORANT Contenders Division. Raven helped to ensure all of her teammates fulfilled their roles and they did so excellently as the semester progressed. Raven is a distinguished team leader and club officer, representing an even stronger team for Brooklyn College.
VALORANT Outstanding Rookie of the Season – Hanna Buck, Catawba College
In Hanna’s first season at Catawba College, she ended with a top 8 placement in the ECAC Valorant Contenders division. Throughout the semester, Hanna put in countless hours each day, studying and working with coaches and on her own to improve her rank and skill. This work ethic led her to climb the ranked ladder from gold to diamond. This is a massive accomplishment for a player in such a short time and is even more impressive that Hanna was able to do so and compete against players and teams of higher rank from the start! Hanna played in over 300 rounds as a rookie, taking on increased leadership roles mid-game without hesitation. Beyond the game, Hanna is a double major and finished the semester with all A’s!
Hearthstone Outstanding Player of the Season – Ivory Parker, Post University
Ivory is a Sophomore Computer Information Science major at Post University. Throughout the Fall 2023 season, his dedication to Hearthstone did not go unnoticed. Ivory could be frequently found in the on-campus Esports Lab testing out new cards and decks, grinding for dust, and theory-crafting to be the best player he could be.
Rocket League Outstanding Player of the Season – Lucas Matheson, University of Southern Maine
Lucas is a Sophomore at the University of Southern Maine and captain of the University’s Rocket League Team B. Lucas’s leadership has been vital, paving the way for his team to qualify for the playoffs this season. Arranging scrimmages and practice times, Lucas has been a key leader for the University of Southern Maine.
Rocket League Outstanding Rookie of the Season – Evan Braidwood, Neumann University
Evan has been such an impactful player for the Neumann University Rocket League team throughout the season. His performance has been exceptional, demonstrating amazing in-game and leadership skills, especially as a freshman at Neumann. He also served as the shotcaller of the team this season. Evan has demonstrated proficiency in coaching his teammates, which is evident in their performance this season. Evan has also assisted in recruiting new esports players with his graphic design skills to upkeep the program’s social media presence.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Outstanding Player of the Season – Garrett Munson, Husson University
Garrett is a Mass Communications and Sports Journalism major at Husson University. His outstanding work both on and off the game has left an impact on not only the community at Husson University but on the SSBU community as a whole. Garrett helped lead his team, Husson Smash Green, to a 6-2 regular season record, holding a dominant top 8 spot in the playoffs. His Wolf gameplay helped define several key victories for the team.
Outside of the ECAC, Garrett ran tournaments for the community at Husson University and the surrounding area, fostering local competition. Additionally, he ran weekly tournaments for Husson’s community. Garrett is more than just a player, contributing greatly to Husson University’s live streaming, casting a variety of game titles. His innovative ideas and strong presence in the SSBU scene have helped advance his community at Husson University.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Outstanding Rookie of the Season – Brennan Wilkins, Paul Smith’s College
Brennan is a Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences major at Paul Smith’s College. He has shown major improvement in his gameplay throughout the season, breaking a loss streak to defeat his competitors. In addition to his work in esports, Brennan has also demonstrated a great ability to balance his studies with practicing for the team.
Fortnite Outstanding Player of the Season – Stefan Stanciu, St. Clair College
Stefan is a Sophomore at St. Clair College studying Advanced Chemistry. As a player in St. Clair College’s Esports program, Stefan competed in both Fortnite Duos Build and Fortnite Trios Zero Build. He has stepped up greatly for St. Clair, especially shining during the post-season. Putting himself on the board with major kills, Stefan and his teammates finished the season in second place for Fortnite Trios Zero. Stefan has been a key player in St. Clair’s success this fall season.
Fortnite Outstanding Rookie of the Season – Jeffrey Dema, Clarke University
Jeffrey is a Freshman Business Administration major at Clarke University this year and has made an immediate impact on the Fortnite team for both Duos and Trios. Jeffrey previously was a semi-professional competitor prior to attending Clarke, and his game knowledge and expertise have allowed him to excel individually, as well as in how he supports his teammates. With his talent, he assisted in leading Clarke University to secure the championship gold in both ECAC Fortnite Duos and Trios divisions this semester. With a bright future ahead in college esports, Jeffery is a force to be reckoned with.
EA Sports FC 24 Outstanding Player of the Season – Tommy Rea, Clarke University
Tommy is a Junior at Clarke University studying Business Administration. In his involvement in Clarke University Esports, Tommy has shown to be a solid, consistent competitor in the ECAC, securing a first-place championship win in his first season of Spring 2022. Since then, Tommy has consistently qualified for the post-season and has maintained his competitive spirit. He continued that streak this Fall 2023 season, finishing the regular season as the ninth seed and qualifying for the playoffs. Tommy had a courageous post-season streak, pulling an upset against the number one seed in the quarter-finals and continuing his momentum with a 3-0 upset in the semi-finals. Unfortunately, Tommy was not able to defend Clarke’s championship title this season, but still earned the runner-up trophy, re-cementing himself as a top competitor in the ECAC.
EA Sports FC 24 Outstanding Rookie of the Season – Gianni Maltese, Bridgewater College
Gianni is a Senior Communications major at Bridgewater College. This season, Gianni led the EA FC 24 team to the playoffs in the program’s first season of existence. He also worked diligently with the broadcast team and his other EA FC 24 teammates to create a high-quality product for the program. In addition to his work in esports, Gianni passionately worked alongside the college’s Sports Broadcast department to commentate the men’s and women’s soccer matches. Finally, to continue his support of the program after his first and final season of competition, Gianni will be the school’s first practicum coach next season to be the lead director of our content and broadcast team, preparing him for his future career in sports broadcasting.
Madden NFL 24 Outstanding Player of the Season – Austin Womack, Mount St. Joseph University
Austin is a Senior Marketing Major at Mount St. Joseph University. Despite a rough start this season, Austin fought his way into the playoffs as the 18th seed, pushing all the way through to the Final Four. This was Austin’s second consecutive season representing Mount St. Joseph University in the ECAC Madden NFL post-season.
Madden NFL 24 Outstanding Rookie of the Season – Malcolm McCoy, Post University
Malcolm, also known as “Baller”, joined Post University’s Madden NFL 24 team this season eager to prove himself. He put forth a lot of hard work behind the scenes to instantly match our best Madden result in school history, securing a Top 8 finish in the Fall 2023 season. In addition to his impressive individual results, he has truly helped to solidify the Madden team by putting in additional time to help the other players learn his defensive and offensive schemes.
NBA 2K Outstanding Player of the Season – Darius Bryant, Neumann University
Darius is a Senior at Neumann University studying Cybersecurity. Serving as the team captain for Neumann University’s NBA 2K 3v3 team, Darius helped lead the team to an undefeated post-season to take home the 3v3 championship this Fall 2023 season. Darius was also able to secure the silver for Neumann University in the ECAC NBA 2K24 1v1 division.
NBA 2K Outstanding Rookie of the Season – Henry Burns, University of Southern Maine
League of Legends Outstanding Player of the Season – Jingxun Jiang, Brooklyn College
On the Brooklyn College League of Legends Gold team, JX served as the starting jungler in the ECAC Contenders division this season. JX is a graduating senior studying Business Management who only had one full semester to make the most of his time in esports. In that short time, JX has climbed the ranked ladder, reaching Masters in solo queue, and emerging as a strong team leader. JX set a phenomenal example for his teammates, helping the team navigate the competitive esports format and conduct VOD reviews alongside the team’s coach. With JX’s versatile champion pool and an impressive 4.2 KDA in the post-season, JX and his team secured themselves a silver trophy in the ECAC League of Legends Contenders Division. JX will be missed by his team and program but has left a lasting impact on his teammates to be carried out in future seasons.
League of Legends Outstanding Rookie of the Season – Berend High, Randolph-Macon College
It is incredibly difficult to summarize the greatness Berend brought to the RMC team and program. He was League B team captain, he played on the A team as well, He constantly looked to assist everyone in the program, he led B team to playoffs this year. Berend also brought so much happiness and comfort to the program and community, he was dependable and was always willing to lend a hand when needed. Berend unfortunately passed away and he will be missed terribly by the Randolph-Macon College community. Starting Spring 2024, the ECAC will honor the Most Improved Player recognition in dedication to Berend.
Rainbow Six Siege Outstanding Player of the Season – Andrew Austin-Stacey, Husson University
Andrew is a Senior at Husson University, studying Health Science. Throughout this season, Andrew’s hard work both in and outside of the game has not gone unnoticed. From stepping up to secure multiple key wins, to helping his team maintain high morale during competition, Andrew’s strong leadership has shown time and time again proving himself as a leader, teammate, and player for Husson University.
Rainbow Six Siege Outstanding Rookie of the Season – Aiden Kusmierczak, Husson University
Aiden came swinging out the gate in his first season at Husson University. He wasted no time getting to work, showing why he was a perfect fit for the team. He was able to assist the team grow throughout the season with insightful shot calling and his extensive knowledge of competitive play and strategy. Being one of the top players in Fall 2023, he has shown great signs of future leadership within the Husson Esports program.
Counter-Strike 2 Outstanding Player of the Season – Cheng Chen, Brooklyn College
Cheng, who goes by Smoorfy, is a Sophomore Marketing major at Brooklyn College. He doubles as the captain of the newly-founded Counter-Strike 2 roster and is also the Social Media Manager for Brooklyn College’s Esports and Gaming Club. Over the semester, Smoorfy assisted in building, coaching, and managing the Counter-Strike 2 roster, supplementing his vocal leadership with high-performance gameplay. Leading his team with the highest damage per round while simultaneously maintaining a 2.0 KDA throughout the playoffs bracket, Smoorfy and his team finished third in the ECAC Esports Counter-Strike 2 league this fall.
Counter-Strike 2 Outstanding Rookie of the Season – Cody Plumey, University of Southern Maine
Cody is a Senior at the University of Southern Maine. Throughout the semester, Cody has consistently shown up ready to play, bringing his strong mentality and resilience to every match. He has shown great improvement this season.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Outstanding Player of the Season – Jordan Stevenson, Fisher College
“Peachy” is a Senior General Studies major at Fisher College. Through his involvement in Fisher College’s Esports program, he has devoted a significant amount of time to the CoD: MWII team, showing great improvement over the semester. He follows so much of the MWII world, showcasing his passion for the game.
Street Fighter 6 Outstanding Player of the Season – Silas Qualls, University of Southern Maine
Silas is a sophomore studying Computer Science at the University of Southern Maine. Silas has been a Street Fighter 6 powerhouse this season, taking USM Esports into the post-season for the first time!
Street Fighter 6 Outstanding Rookie of the Season – Nathan Sexton, Concord University
Nathan is a Freshman at Concord University studying Pre-Athletics Training. With a 7-1 finish in the regular season, and securing a top 8 spot in the playoffs, Nathan has proved to be a strong competitor this season.
Omega Strikers Outstanding Player of the Season – Erick Williamson, University of Southern Maine
Omega Strikers Outstanding Rookie of the Season – Sebastain Drosa, University of Southern Maine