Full Sail University

NACE Starleague Grand Finals Hosted on Full Sail’s Campus

The top collegiate esports teams from across North America faced off in a two-day finals event from the Full Sail University Orlando Health Fortress.

A wide shot of the crowd in the Full Sail University Orlando Health Fortress during the NACE Grand Finals.

Full Sail University was recently the proud host site for the NACE Starleague Grand Finals 2024. The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) provides a structured program for collegiate esports organizations across North America to compete in popular titles including League of Legends, Call of Duty, Overwatch, and more.

We are seeing top-tier competition from college students. These students deserved the full pro esports experience, and Full Sail was able to make that happen.”

Held in the Full Sail University Orlando Health Fortress, the national championship event gave players an authentic, high-level esports competition experience to cap off their competitive season.

“Collegiate play has grown so much over the last few years, both in size and in skill level. We are seeing top-tier competition from college students. These students deserved the full pro esports experience, and Full Sail was able to make that happen,” shares Full Sail Director of Esports and NACE Chairman Sari Kitelyn.

Competing in Overwatch 2, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, League of Legends, Rocket League, Call of Duty, Counterstrike, and Rainbow Six Seige, players traveled from universities including the University of Akron, Syracuse University, St. Clair College, and Maryville University to compete in the Fortress during the two-day esports event.

“One of my goals is to keep collegiate esports in the collegiate realm,” says Director of Competition for NACE, JJ Myers. “From the student-athletes on the field to the student workers running the show behind the scenes, this was a true testament to the potential and future of the space.”

A man in a light blue sport coat stands near a stage while talking to a group wearing Butler Esports jerseys.

Full Sail grad and Butler University Esports Director Nathan Duke with his team in between matches.

Full Sail graduates Nathan Duke and Brandon Hackett returned to campus, this time representing the esports programs they now manage at Butler University and Lubbock Christian University, respectively.

“They are Full Sail graduates who now lead programs at other universities and through insane hard work this season, both led their teams to the national championship. To have them back home, showcasing how successful they are in their careers was just magic,” says Sari.

Full Sail’s Student Events Crew and grads gained valuable industry experience working on the show’s production in roles in camera operation, lighting, stage managing, and EVS operating. Notable sportscasting grads Gus “Upmind” Domingues and Quinn “Qolorblind” Sherr returned to campus, joining students from the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting to provide play-by-play commentary throughout the finals matches.

Two well-dressed people are seated at a hosting desk while wearing headsets and chatting.

Sportscasting student Kyler Grant (left) and graduate Quinn Sherr cast for Call of Duty during the NACE Grand Finals.

Volunteers from the Armada community also gained experience, supporting the production with assistance in gameplay organization, observation, registration, and event photography. “Students were able to support this event from every angle and really got to learn about the broad scope of work that goes into putting a show like this together,” adds Sari.