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WVU Rocket League repeats as NACE Starleague national champions


WVU Rocket League celebrates after winning the Spring 2024 NACE Starleague Varsity Premier Grand Finals.

The West Virginia Rocket League team celebrates after winning the Spring 2024 NACE Starleague Varsity Premier Grand Finals in Winter Park, Fla. (Photo: Michael Carvelli)

The West Virginia Rocket League team capped off a historic year for WVU Esports with a victory at the NACE Starleague Varsity Premier Spring 2024 Grand Finals in Winter Park, Florida, on April 27. The Mountaineers beat Akron, 4-3, in the “Best of 7” series to claim their third national championship of the 2023-24 season.

WVU Esports took home both NACE Starleague Varsity Premier Rocket League titles during the fall and spring semesters, while also starting the season with a 2023 CCA Summer Series national championship.

With the win, WVU becomes just the second team in NACE history to win multiple Rocket League national championships. 

In addition to those championships, the Rocket League team also won the Fall 2023 NECC Legends Division championship and the Boost on the Beach tournament in Myrtle Beach in March.

“There were a lot of people who doubted us at first about whether or not we would be at the very top, so being able to win so many championships and tournaments felt like a lot of validation,” junior captain Jarret “Angel” Birch said. “It showed us we were able to prove we are one of the best teams in the country, and it means a lot to us with how much we’ve worked toward those goals.”

WVU fell behind 2-0 in the series, before rallying for the comeback victory. Freshman Matt “Matter” Ehresman scored the game-winning goal in overtime of the deciding Game 7 in the series in front of the crowd at Full Sail University.

Earlier in the weekend, Ehresman also competed in the main event of the Open Qualifiers in the Rocket League Championship Series where his team, Netherlamericanada, placed in the top 16 in North America.

“We had a lot of obstacles thrown at us this weekend, but we all knew that it would only make pulling out the win feel even better,” Ehresman said. “There’s no better way to win a national championship than doing it in Game 7 in overtime either. This level of consistency all season is something all teams strive for and that’s what we want to maintain now. 

“It’s an awesome feeling, especially knowing the school is behind us and because our family and friends follow it so closely. Getting to share those winning moments with them and our teammates is priceless.”

This is the second semester in a row West Virginia defeated Akron to win a NACE championship. The WVU Valorant team also participated in NACE Starleague Varsity Premier this semester, but lost to North Carolina State in the playoffs.

To get more updates about WVU Esports, follow the program on X at  @WVUEsports  and watch live events from all the varsity teams at .