LCCC Esports squad wins nationals

Sophomore Isaiha Ahrens of LCCC's Esports squad is a two-time champion in Call of Duty: Warzone after Saturday's victory over Iowa Western Community College.

CHEYENNE, Wyoming – Laramie County Community College’s Esports gamers took home two national championship titles over the weekend in a continuation of the program’s meteoric rise.  

LCCC’s Esports roster competes across various teams in different video games. Both championship teams were competing in first-person shooter games.

The match lived up to the hype as the Rainbow 6: Siege team clinched another National Junior College Athletics Association Esports title Friday. It came down to the wire for the Golden Eagles in a five-hour match with the Marshalltown Community College Tigers. But in the end, LCCC’s gamers pulled away to secure the title in a race to five wins. That was followed up on Saturday by the Call of Duty: Warzone team’s flawless defeat of Iowa Western in the best-of-five championship match. 

The wins make for four national championships for LCCC’s Esports program, and the third Call of Duty title. 

The Golden Eagles playing Rainbow 6: Siege showed balance the entire game, with regular-season kill leaders Kiara Kershaw and Justin Cherubin leading the way. Efforts from sophomore Leondro Ebell swung the momentum.

“I knew if I died or did something wrong that I’d have my team behind me and they’d be more than willing to pick up my slack,” Ebell said after the game. 

Sophomore Tyler Soffe said it was a gratifying win because the team overcame significant adversity in its path to the end of the season. 

“We’ve had to switch players in and out, and we’d just been trying to figure out each other’s playing styles,” he said. “Just having the team play together and communicate is really what brought us together in the big moments.” 

Saturday’s Call of Duty: Warzone gamers, Isaiah Ahrens and Dimitrios Chronopoulos, teamed up for the first time this season after winning respective titles with different teammates in Spring 2022 and Spring 2023. Both said hours spent preparing for matches over the season built the chemistry that made them successful. For Ahrens, the skill he put into the match was typical of what he and his teammate had done all season. 

“It was just another day at the office,” Ahrens said. 

Winning was an affirmation of the hard work the teams put in over the season for first-year Esports head coach John Kershaw. 

“These young adults are all work ethic,” he said. “They all have jobs, they all have to balance their schoolwork and getting great grades, and they somehow manage to do this. These are incredible young people and I couldn’t be more proud of them and all they’ve accomplished.” 

Ahrens and Chronopoulos plan on returning to the Call of Duty: Warzone competition in 2024 as they seek a three-peat. The full Rainbow Six: Siege team is expected to return for the Spring 2024 season and will be looking to compete for another national championship.