Limestone University now has another championship to add to its resume, this time from one of its newest programs.
The Limestone esports program, still relatively in its infancy, captured its first title recently as its Overwatch 2 team completed an underdog story by defeating Trent University in the Emergents Mideast Division Championship on Friday, December 9.
The tournament was sponsored by the National Esports Collegiate Conference (NECC), which began sponsoring esports events in 2020 and has quickly become a prominent organization.
Each tournament within the NECC splits teams into several skill-based divisions, much like the NCAA. Limestone’s esports squads currently compete in what is the equivalent of the NCAA’s Division II and Division III.
The Overwatch 2 victory marked the first time an esports team from Limestone has won a championship in any division since its inception 2020.
This was the Overwatch 2 team’s first semester of competition, as the game was not released until October. It competed in nine games during the regular season, compiling a 5-4 record. The Saints were awarded a fifth seed in the tournament bracket, beating fourth-seeded Huntington University in the first matchup.
Limestone then pulled off a remarkable upset of the top-seeded team from the University of Louisville – handing the Cardinals their first loss of the season.
The championship match against Trent University was hard fought, but, according to Limestone head coach Zach Lewis, his Saints won out in a commanding fashion to seal the program’s best finish to date.
“Limestone's Overwatch 2 team performed phenomenally and surpassed everyone's expectations for their first semester of competition,” Lewis said. “The future is bright for this team and for our Limestone esports program as a whole. We are now becoming national competitors.”
The Overwatch 2 team will re-enter the NECC for the spring semester. Typically, the tournament champions are promoted to a higher division.