Victories over Western Kentucky University and the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) served as a promising start to the University of Kentucky Invitational Qualifier for the Blinn College esports Overwatch team Wednesday.

The Buccaneers defeated both Western Kentucky and UCLA 2-0 in best-of-three tilts.

Blinn is attempting to earn a spot in the University of Kentucky Invitational LAN tournament, and will need a strong performance across eight more qualifying matches to do so.

“Our team put on two exceptional performances,” Blinn assistant coach and Overwatch manager Kyle Murto said. “As we progress through the qualifiers, our team remains focused on maintaining our positive momentum through the next eight matches.”

Competing for the Bucs were Matthew HutchingsDonnivan StraightJaden CornettBraeden Greiffenstein, Jonah MacMullen. 

Murto offered high praise for MacMullen, who was recently elevated from the Overwatch JV team to the varsity squad.

“I want to specifically call out the impactful contribution of Jonah,” Murto stated. “In a short span, he has proven to be instrumental in our victories, exemplifying the depth and talent within our roster.”

Up next for the Bucs is a National Association of Collegiate Esports Super Conference Overwatch bout against Fisher College at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 45 NJCAA national championships since 1987. 

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