11/20/2020 – 14:00pm | By: David Tisdale
The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Eagle ESports program has expanded its
opportunities for competition and exposure by joining with other schools from across
the country in the National ESports Collegiate Conference (NECC).
NECC members include the University of Alabama, Boise State University, Sacramento
State University, Mount St. Mary’s University, University of Montana, Valparaiso,
Randolph-Macon, Colorado College and Illinois Wesleyan, among others. More information
about the conference and its membership can be found at http://metaprogaming-env.eba-np4dju2a.us-east-1.elasticbeanstalk.com/
“We’re excited to be affiliated with the NECC. Between this and our other affiliations,
our teams will be going up against everyone from established teams to rising stars,”
said USM Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Denny Bubrig. “To join a
conference like this not only impacts our recruiting, which is already coast-to-coast,
but brings an added plus for our current athletes to be able to recognize them with
defined conference championships, all-conference honors and more.”
USM ESports was founded approximately one year ago and is currently composed of five
teams, including Rainbow 6 Siege, Call of Duty; League of Legends; Rocket League;
and Overwatch. More than 50 students from both the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses
are participating in the program. Josh Morgan, a junior marine biology major from
Brandon, Mississippi is coach and captain of the Eagle ESports League of Legends team.
He transferred to USM from Florida Southern College, where he was also captain for
the school’s eSports program from 2017-19.
“To grow our brand, our teams, and our program, we have to put ourselves out there,”
Morgan said of the new conference affiliation. “NECC made sense for us and I hope
it can provide opportunities to some of our teams that were not previously available
to them. By joining this conference, it gives us a wonderful chance to grow and learn.”
Morgan enjoys the networking that comes with esports. “I have not only made friends,
but also connected with new colleagues and mentors, including Dr. Bubrig,” he said.
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