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Esports to represent Team USA in Red Bull world championship

November 22, 2022

Northwood University is vying for its second world esports championship following tournament action over the weekend in Dallas, Texas.

Northwood Esports will represent Team USA in December at the Red Bull Campus Clutch World Championship in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“Wow, all I can say is wow. I am so proud of the team and their preparation and persistence. I could not have asked for a better performance,” said Cody Elsen, Northwood Esports coach and program director. “Now it’s time to shock the world by taking down some of the best colleges around the globe when we face them in Brazil.”

In June, Northwood Esports won the Collegiate Rocket League World Championship.

“The world championship that we won earlier this year was for the game Rocket League, and we are competing now for the world title in the game Valorant,” explained Justin Marshall, chief development officer for Northwood University. “Esports is an umbrella for multiple competitive games, similar to how a university’s athletics department is an umbrella to numerous traditional competitive sports.

Northwood Esports will be competing against 60 other countries in Brazil for the Valorant world title.

“This is a much bigger world championship than the Rocket world title we won earlier this year,” Marshall noted.

During this weekend’s tournament, Northwood started with wins over West Virginia University, Winthrop University, Boise State University and Rutgers University. The team ended the day defeating the University of Alabama.

Northwood started off the 14-team championship bracket hot, with a 13-10 win against Boise State University, followed by a 13-5 victory against Winthrop University. Heading into the semifinals against Fisher College, the format changed to a best-of-three series, and the team defeated Fisher 2-1. The Timberwolves bested the University of St. Thomas in the grand finals, locking in Northwood’s spot in the world championship.

A weekend to remember for Northwood Esports

On Sunday, the Northwood Esports Rocket League team qualified for the 2023 Collegiate Rocket League World Championship, which will take place this summer. Northwood defeated Penn State, IRSC, Ottawa and Akron. Though the team ultimately lost to Columbia College in the national championship this weekend, Northwood’s runner-up finish earned the Timberwolves one of the two available world championship spots.

“This was a big wakeup call for us,” Elsen noted. “This was the first championship in nearly two years that our Rocket League team lost, but we will bounce back for spring nationals and worlds in the summer of 2023. Our students fought hard and should be very proud.”

Also on Sunday, Northwood punched five tickets to the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) nationals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Northwood played in six qualifiers for the NACE fall national championships. Northwood earned tickets to national finals in the following games: Counter-Strike, Smash Ultimate, Rocket League, Valorant and Call of Duty.

NACE nationals will take place Dec. 2-5 at Villanova University.

“This weekend, we qualified for two world championships, and a chance to win five NACE national titles,” Elsen concluded. “I am so proud of this program’s growth and all of the team members. The students truly are the ones that make this team special.”

For more information about Northwood’s Esports program, visit

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