UAlbany Crowned Winner of Fall 2021 ECAC Esports Commissioner’s Cup
ALBANY, N.Y. (March 8, 2022) — The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) has crowned UAlbany winner of the Fall 2021 ECAC Esports Commissioner’s Cup, an award recognizing the program that achieved the most success across all the video games in which the conference sponsors competition.
UAlbany’s season achievements included a victory over Muskingum University in the Rainbow Six championship, a second-place finish in Valorant and postseason appearances in FIFA, Super Smash Bros., Madden, Rocket League, Overwatch, Fortnite and Hearthstone.
The Great Danes competed in the most ECAC matches across all games (109) and had the most wins (65) topping all 105 members of the conference. In total, UAlbany played more than 400 official collegiate games against schools/colleges across the United States.
“I am honored to accept the Fall 2021 Commissioner’s Cup on behalf of the amazing students we have on our team at UAlbany, and I am inspired by their dedication, determination, professionalism and drive to succeed not only in esports, but in the classroom and beyond,” said Michael Leczinsky, UAlbany eSports program director and professor of practice at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC).
“The ECAC has been a trailblazer and has set the bar for excellence in collegiate esports on a national level. We are proud to be among the many schools, coast-to-coast, who have the opportunity to be a part of such a special community and to compete each week,” he added.
A National Leader in Esports
In Fall 2019, shortly after being approached by the ECAC, Leczinsky recruited 75 students in just two weeks to officially launch UAlbany’s eSports team. His goal was to build the biggest, highest performing and most diverse esports team in the country.
“We want to put UAlbany on the esports map,” said Leczinsky, during the unveiling of a competitive video gaming arena in the basement of Draper Hall.
After growing the team to more than 140 students, one of the largest in the ECAC, along with winning multiple national championships and the conference’s Commissioner’s Cup, it’s hard to argue that Leczinsky has not already reached his goal — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Scholarships and a New Home
UAlbany eSports is introducing a new merit scholarship for incoming freshmen that will be awarded to select students starting in the Fall 2022 semester. These awards are equal to $1,000 and can be combined with any other received UAlbany academic scholarships and need-based aid for which students might qualify.
A new competitive video gaming facility, designed to meet the needs of the growing program, is also in the works. At more than 4,000 square feet, the new competitive gaming facility will feature 48 high-performance gaming PCs, 18 gaming consoles, and a broadcasting/media creation room.
The arena will not only be the new home for UAlbany’s eSports program, but also offer hands-on opportunities for Informatics students enrolled in CEHC’s new Game Design and Development concentration, student gaming clubs, alumni events, open-access recreation, internships, summer camps, special events and other collaborations with community organizations. It is currently scheduled to open in Fall 2023, with more details to come.
ECAC Esports spring competition has kicked off with more than a dozen different league titles on the line. The action is streamed live Monday – Wednesday each week at 8 p.m. ET on twitch.tv/ecac_esports.
UAlbany students interested in joining the team are invited to fill out a general interest form.