“This obviously isn’t the result we wanted,” Murto told his team after a 3-0 loss to Bryant & Stratton College. ” … but think about where we started in the fall, and to finish second in the nation is something to be proud of; second place isn’t something we should be upset about.”

Though the Buccaneers fell short of Blinn’s first-ever esports championship with a setback against the Bobcats of Hampton, Va., Murto was adamant this semester’s team set a new standard for the Blinn esports squads of the future. 

(Pictured: Blinn College esports Overwatch coach Kyle Murto, center, looks on as George Francisleft, and Josh Manning compete against Bryant & Stratton on Sunday in Brenham)

“It was definitely still a very successful season, and I’m very proud of my team,” said Murto. “To get to this point really meant a lot, and to see them bust their butts throughout the semester and really throughout the whole year, work their way to get to this point despite maybe not having championship expectations on day one … it’s something we can still have some pride in.

Getting to this point and losing is definitely disappointing – nobody wants to get to the national title game and lose – but I don’t think that defines the season we’ve had.”

Competing for Blinn on Sunday were Gabriel LopezGeorge FrancisCesar ChogoyaPierce RayWilliam Rossley, and Joshua Manning, and while their NJCAAE season is officially over, the group will have a chance to end the spring with a bang later this week.

The Buccaneers were recently invited to represent the NJCAA at the Collegiate Esports Commissioners Cup (CECC), a nationwide tournament pitting two- and four-year esports programs against each other in a winner-take-all competition. The CECC will take place May 6-8 at the Gateway Center Arena in Atlanta, Ga. Blinn will compete in the Overwatch tournament

“We have a huge tournament coming up, and if we can perform well there, I think that would certainly lift some spirits and make everybody feel a little better about what happened (Sunday),” Murton added. “We still have another chance to show everybody what we’re made of, and I think we’ll learn from this championship loss and head to Atlanta ready to go.”

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 42 NJCAA national championships since 1987.