17:18 PM

UST Wins College League of Legends National Championship

National Championship UST League of Legends Team, L to R: Shane "porsche" Higginbotham, Dat "Kitzuo" Nguyen, Robert "RobbyBob" Wieber, Gil "Shogo" Meron, and Charles "Chookies" ThornburghIn the biggest championship college esports can offer, the University of St. Thomas-Houston’s League of Legends (LoL) esports team took first place in the 2022 College LoL Championship in Los Angeles over the weekend, winning $50,000 in prize money. St. Thomas dominated the field. The other seven top teams were Maryville University, Western University, Bay State College, Converse College, University of California-Irvine, Michigan State and defending champs Winthrop University.

Nail-Biter Moments

At one point, Maryville, known as a powerhouse, had the Celts on the precipice of defeat, but in the last two team fights, UST held its base, then rallied. In no time, St. Thomas’ standout ADC, Gil Meron, found an angle and got a quadra kill, defeating four players in rapid succession. That brilliance allowed UST to complete the turnaround, secure the match and ride the momentum to victory. 

UST Assistant Director of Esports Justin Pelt said, “It was a tough prove-yourselves tournament for the players. You’re talking about a week-long competition where you’re in a hotel room and managing a heavy schedule with media, covid testing and the matches. It really takes the best team to handle all that. The matches are the culmination of their year, and all eyes were on them. One mistake can cost you. What I’m most proud of is that our players rose to the occasion playing the best they’ve played all year when it mattered the most.” 

Celt Performance Made History

What’s more, the Celts won in record-setting time—77 minutes and 55 seconds of game time.

“Achieving the fastest finals victory in College LoL Championship history makes us the most dominate esports team to ever win a finals championship,” Pelt added.

When the competition began earlier this year, 421 schools participated. The Final 8, which included three former collegiate champion teams, fought it out at the in-person event in LA with no shortage of savvy strategies and razor-sharp moves.

UST’s Cutting-Edge Esports Program

UST’s esports program has come very far, very fast. The Celt teams only began entering competition a year ago, and now the LoL team, demonstrating nerves of steel, holds the national championship.

Esports is a rapidly growing career field. UST offers multi-disciplinary programs that connect coursework and experiential learning, such as relevant internships with organizations like the Houston Outlaws, to prepare students for success in the growing gaming industry.