Article by Jake Heath.

St. Cloud State University’s Varsity Rocket League team is heading back to the National Esports Collegiate Conference championship match. This time in the Challengers division.

Our Huskies competed in the NECC Emergents division during the Fall 2023 season, topping off the undefeated season with a championship win over North Dakota State University with a 4-1 series win.

For the Spring 2024 season, the Huskies were promoted to the NECC Challengers division, competing in the Great Plains conference, and are members of the Great Plains B division for the Spring 2024 regular season.

The Huskies finished the regular season in first place in the Great Plains B division with a record of 7-0, beating teams from the University of Montana, North Dakota State University, and the University of North Dakota.

Here is how the NECC playoffs are formatted for the Great Plains conference. The top 4 teams from each division get a chance to compete in the playoffs. The quarterfinals are a best of five series, while the semifinals and the finals will be decided by a best of seven series.

The Huskies faced off against Utah Valley University in a best of five series in the quarterfinals of the NECC Challengers division Great Plains Playoffs on March 22, 2024. They won the series 3-1.

On Monday, April 1, 2024, the Huskies took on a team from New Mexico State University in the semifinals in a best of seven series, the Huskies take care of business yet again winning the series 4-1.

Oklahoma City University and Kansas State University will battle it out on April 5, 2024, for the right to take on the Huskies in the championship game.

St. Cloud State University’s Varsity Rocket League coach, Noah Kylander says that it is playoffs, anyone can win.

He states that his main goal is to keep his team from being complacent going into the championship match. Kylander states that his team has to stick to what has been working for them this season to complete the perfect season for Spring 2024.

This is the Huskies first full year competing in the NECC league.

“It’s exciting for sure,” Kylander says about being undefeated so far through both the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 seasons. He states that it is very uncommon for teams to do so well right away.

“It would speak volumes to prospects,” Kylander says about being undefeated back-to-back seasons.

Noah Kylander began coaching the Varsity Rocket League team back in June 2022. He started out by volunteering to help with the Rocket League team tryouts, which eventually turned into a job offer.

Kylander states that he decided to help out with the tryouts, because he lives in St. Cloud and feels committed to the community. He says that he has always been extremely passionate about esports as a whole, and was genuinely excited when he heard that SCSU was starting a esports program.

With their championship in the Fall 2023 season in the NECC Emergent’s division, the Huskies have clinched a spot in the NECC Emergents National tournament. With a championship win in the Challengers division, the Huskies will move up to the NECC Challengers National tournament. The tournament will consist of 16 teams with the quarterfinals beginning on April 16, 2024.

Even though the Huskies are awaiting their opponent for the championship match, the championship will take place on April 12, 2024 at 7 p.m..The championship match will be available for stream on twitch.

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