The Blinn College esports team took two steps toward a third national championship Wednesday.

The Buccaneer Overwatch team earned sweeps in quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the NJCAA Esports National Tournament and will now compete for the national title.

Blinn topped Johnston Community College 3-0 in a quarterfinal bout before topping Salt Lake Community College 3-0 in the semifinals. Both matches were played under a best-of-five format.

Francisco Amezcua 2023-24
(Pictured: Blinn Overwatch player Francisco Amezcua competes against Johnston Community College on Nov. 29, 2023)

The Bucs will now face a familiar foe in Bryant & Stratton College at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6. Bryant & Stratton owns a pair of victories over Blinn Overwatch in national title tilts, as well as one victory in national tournament semifinal play.

“Anticipation is high for the upcoming national championship match,” said Blinn assistant coach and Overwatch manager Kyle Murto. “We are making adjustments to address specific challenges posed by Bryant & Stratton, as we recognize our historical struggles against them. However, we see this as an opportunity to make history.”

Blinn will take momentum into the championship match thanks to a pair of strong performances Wednesday.

“We showcased skill, teamwork, and resilience tonight,” Murto said. “In the quarterfinals, we dominated Johnston and displayed superior skills and strategic understanding of the game. In the second match, Salt Lake gave us a bit of a fight in the first two rounds, and that forced us to change our team composition in order to adjust to their style of play and emerge victorious.”

Competing for Blinn were Haluk TanrisevenMatthew HutchingsDonnivan StraightAndrew Dugas, and Javier Amezcua. 

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

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