The Florida Southern College esports program received an exclusive invitation to participate in the ENASCAR Collegiate Rocket League Tournament on Saturday, August 27. Florida Southern was one of eight institutions to compete during the afternoon, prior to the scheduled NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400, at the Daytona International Speedway.
In all, eight institutions from across Florida entered a total of 13 teams into the competition, including Embry-Riddle, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida State, Full Sail, Rollins, Southeastern, and the University of Florida. Florida Southern entered a Varsity and an Academy team to play Rocket League, an online video game in which players compete in the sport of soccer, but using vehicles as players instead of people.
“We are thrilled to be competing in this tournament run by NASCAR at Daytona,” FSC Director of Esports Adam Antor commented prior to the event. "Our players are excited about this unique opportunity, and they find great pride in knowing the CEO of NASCAR, Jim France (Class of 1968), is an alumnus of Florida Southern. We look forward to making him and all of our fans proud."
The event was held at the World Center of Racing, in front of the ENASCAR hauler.
After the Mocs Varsity team of Sean McCarthy, Joshua Anderson, Joshua De La Pena, Casey Freudenthal, Isaac Garay, and Toby Wall defeated Embry-Riddle to qualify for the quarterfinal round, the rain came and washed away the remainder of the event.
“We had a great time participating,” said Freudenthal, a senior music performance major from Lakeland. “It was fun competing at a high level, and in-person. It’s great how we, as a whole, have developed.”
The Mocs esports program is entering its sixth year of competition, having been created in 2017, competing in both League of Legends and Hearthstone. Rocket League and Overwatch were added in 2018, as FSC began competing in the Peach Belt Conference and National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) a year later.
In May of 2021, FSC expanded and upgraded the primary on-campus facility for esports – the CPS Investment Advisors Snake Pit. Mocs Esports teams use the new arena for varsity tournament play, though its primary purpose is to accommodate gaming by the general student population. The esports arena features 30 state-of-the-art gaming stations, with additional seating for students who use gaming consoles.
Academically, Florida Southern College offers an undergraduate minor and a Master of Business Education (MBA) concentration related to competitive gaming through the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise.