St. Clair College's Rocket League team is going International as they'll be heading to Birmingham, England to represent Canada in the first-ever Commonwealth Esports Championships (CEC) as part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games this August.
They qualified to represent Team Canada in the Open Division after finishing as the top Canadian team in The Gaming Stadium's Rocket League Open event held in April.
"The opportunity to be representing Canada at the Commonwealth Games is amazing and is something I never thought I would be able to do. To play for Canada is a dream I've always had," said Josh “Comp" Byrne. "We've put in a lot of hard work as a team and individually. I've been determined and constantly working towards improvement, for both my life and career, over the past seven years and I'm glad to finally see it pay off."
The Saints will face-off against seven other countries in the CEC with teams representing England, Kenya, India, Jamaica, Wales, Australia and South Africa. The tournament is held from Aug. 3 through Aug. 7.
"I'm proud of my players. Seeing all of our hard work produce results like this is incredible," said Saints Rocket League Head Coach Mike LePine. "Representing Canada is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us and we're going to continue to put the work in, that's for sure."
The chance to represent Canada on the global stage caps off a tremendous year for the Saints Rocket League team. In June, they traveled to Dallas for the first-ever Collegiate Rocket League World Championship as part of Dreamhack Dallas. There, they finished tied for 3rd place in an event that featured 16 of the best college programs from across North America and Europe.
"The effort and hard work that the team has put into the game is truly commendable," added Assistant Coach Ajay Singh. "I am grateful to be coaching such a talented set of individuals. These opportunities only happen once in a lifetime and we are all happy to be experiencing it."
LePine has also been tapped to coach the Canadian Women's Rocket League team which includes Ghini "Avenger" S. and Victoria "Mush" K., of Vancouver, and Carlee "Kiaa" E., of Calgary.
"Working with these ladies has been a privilege," added LePine. "They are all very hard working and have a great competitive spirit. I'm looking forward to their performance in Birmingham."
For news, updates and results of the event, and all things esports at St. Clair, follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaintsGamingCA.
Saints Rocket League
- Ben "Spoods" Talbot, Windsor, ON - Computer Systems Technology - Networking
- Josh "Jay" Podruzny, Grande Prairie, AB - Computer Systems Technology - Networking
- Josh "Comp" Byrne, Edmonton, AB - Business Administration - Marketing
- Bailey "Nitryx" Lamont, Windsor, ON - Esports Administration & Entrepreneurship
Head Coach: Mike LePine
Assistant Coach: Ajay Singh - Biomedical Engineering Technology - Equipment and Devices