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SUNY Canton Esports Teams Advance

SUNY Canton’s esports teams have all advanced to round two of the SUNY Chancellor Esports Challenge Cosponsored by Extreme Networks. The Roos posted a 4-0 record on Monday in the first day of elimination week. Several students from Northern New York featured prominently in the Roos success, including Brandon McPherson of Massena, Madison Cragle of Peru, Brandon Prusinowski of Lowville and Nathan LaFary of Watertown.

“The Chancellor’s Challenge has become an extremely competitive tournament,” said Charles Murray, the college’s esports coordinator and head coach. “All four of our teams performed well under pressure Monday, and we’re looking forward to Wednesday night’s elimination battles. Every night moving forward is a must win and we’re battling for a piece of the $20,000 COVID-19 student relief funds.”

Now in the second week of gameplay, the competition has advanced to elimination rounds in “Fortnite” by Epic Games, “Rocket League” by Psyonix and “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” by Nintendo.

The Fortnite team posted a 3 to 1 victory over Stony Brook University on Monday to advance to the Sweet 16. Led by nationally ranked captain Dylan Santiago of Bethpage, the team is now scheduled to face SUNY Cortland during Wednesday night’s matchup. Santiago is one of the top 1,000 players to compete in the game worldwide. His previous achievements include placing ahead of the streamer and celebrity gamer “Ninja” during an Eastern North American tournament in April.

Santiago plays alongside Brandon McPherson of Massena during the two-player matches. The duo has their sights set on the elite eight bracket and beyond.

Rocket League drove past Farmingdale State with a 3 to 0 victory in the first elimination round. The four SUNY Canton student rocket-powered car soccer team includes Keegan Rule Paone of Saugerties, Adam Ploutz of Saratoga Springs, Brenden Capria of Liverpool, and Brandon Prusinowski of Lowville. Their next matchup will be against Binghamton University.

Both Super Smash Bros. teams advanced to the second round of 32 teams. The game is played one-on-one. Nathan LaFary of Watertown came out ahead of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) with a 3 to 1 score. LaFary is slated to play SUNY Oswego during his next match.

The second team took three matches over Jamestown Community College during Monday’s gameplay. Co-captain Madison Cragle of Peru, N.Y., is currently undefeated through the entire competition. She said it was a bit nerve-wracking to have her matches livestreamed and viewed by hundreds, but she’s enthusiastic about her progress in the tournament.

“Being undefeated makes me feel more confident,” she said. “After I had the hype ending to the first game of the set, I carried that energy through the rest of the match.”

Cragle will look to continue her streak against SUNY Oneonta next. 

Competition is held at 7 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It is played from students’ residences to coincide with current stay-at-home directives. Many matches are streamed on the tournament’s Twitch channel.

About the Tournament

The State University of New York created the SUNY Chancellor Esports Challenge to engage students during COVID-19. Co-sponsor Extreme Networks is the Official Wi-Fi Solutions Provider of the NFL, delivering high-density Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi analytics solutions to 25 NFL teams, and during the past seven Super Bowls. The top prize for each game is $2,000, which will be donated to the student emergency fund at the winners’ respective school as part of the #SUNYTogether relief effort. There will also be a $5,000 grand prize given to the college with the best overall score. Tournament formation was orchestrated by LeagueSpot, a rapidly growing platform partner for esports programs.


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