The esports recruiting season for Fall 2021 is coming to a close and Stay Plugged IN (SPIN) sent it off with a bang. SPIN partnered with Helix Esports Patriot Place and the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) to host the High School Esports Showcase. This was SPIN’s second live recruiting LAN (local area network) where students, parents, and college coaches traveled from all across the country to compete for college esports scholarships.
The players competed within 4 titles, Rocket League, Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, and Valorant. While also showcasing skills in pursuit of esports scholarships, players also competed for a $1,000 prize pool provided by the Army ROTC and MVPs of each title earned blue light protection glasses from Gunnar.
There were over 100 hopeful high school and college students that traveled to compete at the state of the art LAN center, Helix Esports Patriot Place. There were students that traveled from as far as Washington, Georgia, Missouri, and Texas. The students were able to showcase their skills in front of 25 collegiate esports programs, many of which were a part of the NECC. Of the attending collegiate programs, there were over $3,500,000.00 available in scholarship dollars to offer to the participants at the event.
College Esports Opportunities
Phin Cook commits to Converse College Esports thanks to the High School Esports Showcase. The first committed student came within 48 hours of the conclusion of the event. Phin “Phnx” Cook committed to Converse College to compete within Rocket League. Phin is originally from Worcester, Massachusetts and will be making the journey to South Carolina to attend college and compete within collegiate esports. Prior to the event, Phin wasn’t considering college esports as a pathway or option.
After attending the event, he was one of the most dedicated players, arriving well before any competitor and getting prepared and ready to compete. He was drawn to Max Wood of Converse College and the environment that is being formed at the program. We want to congratulate both Phin and Converse college on the commitment and are excited to hear about more connections from this event!
Rocket League Winners
Andrew “Drey” Bugera
Andrew “RetroTaz” Drey brought his A-Game after being invited by one of the other competitors. His team ended up winning the Rocket League portion of the showcase. Drey is in the class of 2025 currently in college from Rhode Island who “loves the pressure of competing”. Being ranked Super Sonic League backs up his drive and fearlessness letting that pressure drive him, and his team, to the winning spot.
Marcos “Taysech” Perdomo
Marcos is taking his first steps into collegiate Rocket League. Marcos is confident in himself and his teammates saying, “I think we have some sort of potential, and I know that there are a lot of colleges scouting so that’s what we did.” Marcos is ranked Super Sonic League and traveled from Rhode Island. He is a part of the class of 2025 currently in college. Marcos speaks for the team as, “unanimously for us definitely we were all looking forward to playing on the main stage. I think the main stage for anyone is like the most enthralling part of playing in the sport.”
Valentin “WaYvee” Bogachev
Valentin couldn’t have been happier to have met his teammates Marcos “Taysech” and Andrew “Drey” as this was his first time competing with a team. Currently a Grand Champion 2, he now plans to continue competing with them. He is set to graduate from college in 2023 and is a Massachusetts local.
Rainbow 6 Siege winners
Aaron “oGrievous” Dame
Aaron is a local Massachusetts resident who is one of the older competitors at the tournament. He missed the tournament space saying it was “awesome being here.” Aaron is a part of the R6 North American League as a coach and was playing the Flex/Support role for his team in the event. Having a blast and helping the younger players get themselves out there.
Casey “CJay” Rasak
Casey enjoys “warming up and kind of seeing everyone together especially post COVID-19.” He also came to the tournament to support the younger players on the team and help them work towards a college esports scholarship. He certainly did support the team as he is a diamond rank Flex/Support player. Casey currently is a Healthcare worker in college and a local Massachusetts player.
Sam “S4M” Wells
This was Sam’s first win in an event. He is a class of 2024 student and with a Platinum 1 rank he shows his dedication to the game. He also has a GPA of 4.0, displaying his ability to compete at a high level and keep academics on the forefront. Sam made the journey to Foxborough from New York to have fun with his teammates and came out on top playing Support. His favorite part of the event was having a blast meeting his teammates in person and competing in front of a crowd and on stream.
Vincent “Remix” Caprio
Vincent came all the way from New Jersey to attend the event. He wants to continue to rise the ranks as he is currently in Platinum 1 and is a part of the class of 2021. With the support of his teammates and his hard work as an Entry player, he was able to make a name for himself during this tournament. He overall had a great experience at Helix and joked that he “lost about five pounds in weight” from the heat of the lights on the main stage.
Zack “Khal” Alkhanji
Zack is a Champion rank player traveling in from Rhode Island playing the Entry role. He had an “overall good experience” from meeting his teammates, to sitting up on the main stage, and getting to see how big the community is. He has potential, and as a part of Class of 2021, he will soon be entering college and would like to attend more events like this Helix Showcase.
Aaron “AAronCr1” Crabb
Coming all the way from Wisconsin, Aaron traveled to the event to show off his skills in hopes of earning a college esports scholarship. He was excited to attend his first LAN event and was able to overcome the nerves of the exciting atmosphere that any event can bring. He also found the “staff being very helpful” in which he thanks everyone involved for organizing. He is a class of 2022 high school student with a GPA of 3.92.
Dylan “TedsCousin” McLaughlin
Dylan is a local Massachusetts player who came to this showcase saying “I am looking to do esports in college.” His rank as a Grand Master shows he has what it takes to compete at the highest levels. He took on the leadership role for the team and did his “best to get the win for [his] team.” He is a part of the class of 2022 and is eager to get into the Collegiate scene. Dylan also “told [his] parents about it and they thought it was a great idea too.” He was able to make the most out of this showcase, enjoying the time with his team and getting a taste of the event scene as this was also his first LAN event.
Matt “Platypigoose” Gisi
Matt, also coming in from Wisconsin, is a Platinum ranked player that said he had a “really good competitive mindset going in,” as he prepped over the past three weeks scrimming with teams up to 4.3 ranking. Matt put in the work, grinding practice before the event and said he needed “to be over prepared, but still not underestimate my opponents.” That preparation paid off as he played a big role in playing support for the team. Matt is a class of 2022 high school student with a GPA of 3.65.
Tyler “Oni/Iceman” Blair
Tyler is also a Rhode Island player with a Gold rank.This was his first lan event and he came to the tournament loving the official vibe. From the announcers, the set ups, Tyler said “being on the big stage felt really really cool, and honestly loved it”. Tyler played the Tank role and is apart of class 2025
Brennan “GET2THECHOPA587” O'Connor
Brennan is a class of 2025 high school student that traveled into the event from Rhode Island. Despite being nervous at first to the point of shaking, they said “the atmosphere was great and I would want other places to be like this!” This was their first time being at a lan event saying “it had to be one of the best experiences I’ve had in a long time!”
Ryan “Frost” Daesen
The final member of the winning Overwatch team was the class of 2023 player, Ryan. Ryan had a short travel with being from Massachusetts, and he brought exactly what his team needed to push them to victory. He is a gold ranked tank player that is looking to hone his skills before graduating in 2 years.
Andrew “Gucc107” Gutnichenko
Andrew didn’t have to travel far for the event as a native Massachusetts player with a Radiant ranking. Saying that “we didn’t disappoint” when it came to the gameplay as he had confidence in himself and his teammates to bring home the victory. He is currently in college majoring in computer engineering, but looking to swap to business or economics.
Ashton “Frosty” Rakoske
Ashton is another local Massachusetts player also with a Radiant ranking. He came into the tournament confident that he and his team were going to bring home the gold and proved it here at this showcase by not losing a single map. He also assembled the team as he was the one who introduced the other teammates to this event. Ashton is a class of 2023 player that is looking to continue his competitive Valorant career.
Nythaniel “Hyjinx” Kline
Nythaniel is an Immortal that traveled from New York to play in this LAN event. He says that he was “glad to see me and my boys up at the top.” He made the trip for the event because he believes “LAN is always the best experience when it comes to esports – so I packed all my stuff and drove up to Helix to frag.” Nythaniel is a class of 2023 student and is looking to go to college to major in psychology.
Peter “Governor” No
Peter made the longest trip of the team and traveled in from Virginia. This was his first LAN event and he brought his A-game as a duelist as he was the one of the MVP’s with the announcers calling the match “Governors Showcase.” Peter was one of the most electric players of the entire event with his massive confident plays. He is a part of class 2021 and wants to take a gap year to pursue streaming on Twitch.
Zach “Zekken” Patrone
Zach made the trip from New Jersey and has a rank of Radiant. Zach felt “happy to have been able to go to a LAN” thanks to the opportunity that Ashton “Frosty” opened up. He helped recruit the team for this event and it certainly paid off as they came out on top. He is a class of 2023 student with an impressive 4.14 GPA, showing that he has strong time management skills and dedication. When looking towards college, his desired major is psychology.
Travis “Tdawgg” Regan
The coach for the team that helped make this win possible. Travis helped the team over the course of the month leading up towards the event and said that “the win was what we expected going in so it was a great feeling to achieve our goal.” Him, along with his team, all went into this event confident and emerged with the win. Travis is hopeful about more tournaments in the future. He is currently in college and majors in business and marketing.
Images of the High School Esports Showcase presented by Stay Plugged IN, Helix Esports Patriot Place, and the NECC
Stay Plugged IN Recruiting
The premier esports recruiting platform for college scholarships is with Stay Plugged IN. SPIN has proudly facilitated over 55 connections with many of those students attending college under an esports scholarship. The total amount of scholarships earned in SPIN’s first ever recruiting season amounts to well over $2,000,000.00.
What sets SPIN apart from any other recruiting platform are the live LAN showcase events such as the one at Helix Esports Patriot Place this past weekend. This environment allows college coaches to connect directly with players and families to accurately depict the opportunities esports provides to students.
The next LAN recruiting showcase scheduled for SPIN will be held in Arlington, Texas on September 10th, 11th, and 12th and will offer the game titles Rainbow Six Siege, Call of Duty, and Valorant. Check out the Registration Page and jumpstart your esports recruiting journey with this marquee event!
This article has been contributed by Chase Kuehler.