GCC esports team to compete for national championship
December 10, 2020
By CHARITY SMITH
Ironwood — The Gogebic Community College Rainbow 6 Seige will compete against Hawkeye Community College of Waterloo, Iowa, in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s esports national championship on Monday.
The Samsons earned the right to compete in the championship on Tuesday by beating Snow College of Ephraim, Utah, 2-1 in the semifinals.
Members of the Rainbow 6 Siege team include: Keegan Bolen, Captain, James Dickerson, Carson Johnson, Jaidon Jokela, Leandro Narvaez and Cody Schwartz.
“These students have endured a particularly challenging year and this makes this NJCAA esports event that much more rewarding. The quality of competition is top notch,” said coach Jim Halverson.
The Samsons are ranked No. 3 among the 64-member colleges in the league.
GCC was also selected to lead the production of the broadcast for the national championship match.
“In light of Gogebic’s contributions, they have the ability to run Gogebic commercials, Gogebic interviews, and mention throughout each production it is an NJCAAE event brought to you by Gogebic Community College,” said Jeff White, executive director of NJCAAE.
The Samsons assistant coach is Aaron Froelich.
Samsons’ esports Fortnite players were invited to the National NJCAAE Fortnite Invitational held this week. Aaron Hoff finished 14th and Selena Dix finished 31st.
“I’m very proud of our Fortnite players and look forward to next season,” said Halverson.
The Samsons ended their regular season with a record of 5-2-1 and are looking forward to an exciting postseason.
Esports at GCC, began in 2017, under the leadership of Halverson, who also teaches information technology at the college.
“Jim has built the program from the ground up,” said Dr. George McNulty, president of GCC. “He is a member of the NJCAAE Advisory Committee along with five other coaches from across the U.S. This provides us with an excellent opportunity to be part of advancing this emerging collegiate sport. We are proud of the GCC esports program and the student-athletes who are participating in the national championship playoffs.”
The NJCAAE was founded in 2019 and is the only national esports association exclusively for two-year colleges according to the generation sports website. It already has over 60-member schools after only two semesters of competition.