Lakeland Omega Strikers Team Wins National Championship
Lakeland’s Esports program struck gold this past weekend as the Omega Strikers team won the inaugural Collegiate Corestrike League and were crowned National Champions.
The Muskies entered the playoffs as the nation’s No. 2 seed in the Collegiate Core Striker League (CCL) and were poised for a deep playoff run.
An Omega Strikers team consists of three players, a forward, a midfielder and a goalie. Lakeland’s team of three consists of junior forward Ethan Jacqaurt (E T han), junior midfielder Christian Yang (MnnMouse) and junior goalie Nicholas Sorenson (Soren).
Omega Strikers consists of two teams of three players who fight to score by sending the Core, a large hockey puck, into the opponent’s goal. Players can choose from a cast of characters each who have a unique set of abilities which can be used to attack enemy players, move the Core, buff allies, debuff enemies and more.
After a first-round bye in the double-elimination tournament, Lakeland quickly beat the York Spartan Strikers 2-0 to move on to round 3, where the Muskies were upset by No. 11-seed George Mason University.
Lakeland would need a perfect run through the loser’s bracket to set up a chance to win the tournament, and that’s exactly what happened.
After a dominant 2-0 win over New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), next up was Wake Forest University, which proved to be one of Lakeland’s hardest games. The Muskies finished off Wake Forest to reach the loser’s bracket quarterfinals as day one of the tournament concluded.
Day 2 started off with Lakeland posting a big 2-1 win over UCLA Esports to advance to the semifinals. The Muskies then defeated the University of Houston (UH Premiere), 2-1, to reach the loser’s bracket finals and a date with rival Saint Louis University, which has become the biggest rivalry in the CCL.
Lakeland stormed past SLU with a decisive 2-0 victory and, following eight hours of competition, earned a chance to compete in the Grand Finals for a national championship.
Motivated by their impressive run through the loser’s bracket, the Muskies posted back-to-back 2-0 wins over UT Dallas Esports to win the national title.
“By the time our team played its way through the loser’s bracket, we had great momentum and were not going to be denied this championship,” said Lakeland Esports Head Coach Brett Sheldon.
“The amount of work and effort this team has put in to get to this point is hard to express. I am incredibly proud of them for all that they have accomplished.”
Click here to watch an online interview with the Muskies following their championship win.