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Eagle Esports Marks Program’s First National Championship

Tue, 05/31/2022 - 03:31pm | By: David Tisdale

Josh MackieJust two years after its formation, The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Eagle Esports program has already secured its first national championship after its Rainbow 6 Team defeated Carthage University last week in the final for the National Esports Collegiate Conference’s (NECC) Emergent League title.

In a #1 vs. #2 matchup in the national semifinal for the Challengers League title, Eagle Esports’ Overwatch Team fell to Champlain College, but finished in the top four in the country.

“To be the first national championship team for Eagle Esports is something I knew I wanted to accomplish when I first joined the team,” said Josh Mackie, a junior computer science major from Horn Lake, Mississippi who serves as team captain for Rainbow 6. “I never thought that my first year as captain of the team would lead to this level of success. We wouldn't be in this position if it wasn't for my team and the Esports staff that continue to support us, and I can't wait to bring home more titles to the program.” 

Dr. Denny Bubrig, assistant vice president for student affairs and advisor for the program, said though he was not expecting the level of success the program has achieved this quickly, he believes it’s a testament to the student participants’ dedication and interest, program wide, that it has secured multiple regular season titles, a postseason conference title, a national championship and a national semi-finalist this year.

“Without their level of commitment, none of this really happens,” Dr. Bubrig continued. “I am extremely excited about what the future holds.”

Dr. Bubrig said the program’s success is contagious and it is seeing the results in recruiting. “We have been successful in expanding the geographic recruiting territory for USM through esports, and now we are beginning to translate that into applications and enrolled students, which is not only a program win, but an institutional win as well,” he further noted. “We are building an on-going body of work that we seek to positively impact USM with, and that everyone can take pride in community-wide.”

Along with USM, the NECC includes approximately 230 schools, including the University of Alabama, Boise State University, Sacramento University, Mount St. Mary’s University, University of Montana, Valparaiso, Randolph-Macon, Colorado College and Illinois Wesleyan, among others.

To learn more about Eagle Esports, email esportsFREEMississippi; visit:; or follow on social media via Twitch, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.