Familiar face of the program and League of Legends player, Mitchell McKittrick, is one of the most dedicated players to have come through the program thus far. The first student NACE (National Association of College Esports) representative in Barton College’s Esports program history is only one of many achievements McKittrick has tackled. The freshman from Apex, North Carolina is one of the leaders on the League of Legends team and is excited about his opportunity competing for the Esports program. “It is a growing industry and just being apart of it is tremendous.” said McKittrick.
Mitchell plans on pursuing a career in the Esports industry wether that is becoming a professional player or staying connected in the industry some how. He is an Art and Design major with a concentration in Graphic Design and also earning minors in Math and Honors.
McKittrick was first introduced to League of Legends in high school where he joined his high school Esports club and was later introduced to the game by the teacher running the program. What attracted him to the game so much was it’s originality and “replay ability”. “I thought I would try it and I got hooked.” said McKittrick. Different from the first person shooter games and typical fighter games, the strategy and uniqueness was what attracted him to the game.
However, before Mitchell hopped onto the PC platform, he was playing games on the Wii and Xbox like Super Mario Bros and Super Smash Bros. That then led to him to buying a PC and playing games like Team Fortress 2 and Brawlhalla.
Outside of Esports, Mitchell enjoys socializing with friends and teammates and has enjoyed the opportunity to meet new players and people through the program. As for what type of legacy he leaves behind, he hopes to keep growing the program. “I’m not the only working as part of a team, but also helping to expand the team and grow interest in the program.” said McKittrick.
Are you a student at Barton College and play NBA 2K21 on the Playstation 4?
Well Barton College, Conference Carolinas and Mainline have all partnered to create the Conference Carolinas NBA 2k21 Championship that will begin on March 1 at 5 p.m., with the championship taking place on March 6.
The championship winner will receive a Conference Carolinas NBK 2K21 Championship logo shirt and trophy.
All Conference Carolinas schools will host qualifier tournaments with the winners moving on to represent and compete in the finals with the semifinals and finals being broadcasted live.
Registration for the event ends February 28, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. In order to compete in the tournament, you will need three things. Be a registered student of a Conference Carolinas school, Playstation 4 NBA 2K21 and an active PS plus membership.
Conference Carolinas Tournament Schedule:
Day 1– March 5th
Round of 16 5 pm
Round of 8 6pm
Quarter finals 7pm
Day 2– March 6th
Semifinals- 4 pm – 6 pm (broadcasted)
Finals- 6 pm – 7 pm (broadcasted)
Match settings- Standard lobby settings
Best of 1- Single Elimination
Difficulty- Hall of Fame
Game Style- Standard
Time limit- 5 min for qualifier games & 7 mins for Conference Carolinas finals games
Nicholas “Nick” Guerriero is no stranger to the small town feel that comes from attending Barton College. The third year senior is from a small town called Shelby, North Carolina, which is located less than an hour outside of Charolette. Transitioning from Shelby to Wilson was not a drastic change for him, “Coming to Barton I feel like I stayed in that element.” said Guerriero.
Guerriero is currently wrapping up with his bachelors degree and is majoring in Exercise Science, where he has plans to pursue a job with physical therapy. However, before that happens, Nick plans on attending an in state school to earn a masters or doctorate degree. “Going into my masters or doctorate or whatever I decide to choose, I want the school that I go to to be a big school.” said Guerriero.
Since arriving to Barton in the fall of 2018, Nick has been apart of the dominate Barton College Swim team and was able to help them to two Conference Carolinas Championship seasons (2019, 2020). The 6’1 senior is a scholarship swimmer that competes in the long distance freestyle and breast stroke for the Bulldogs. Not only does Nick get it done in the pool, but he is also also getting it done in the classroom by earning multiple deans list.
As for Esports, Nick competes on the League of Legends team, where he has been apart of the program since the start of it in 2019. “I love that people take it competitively and that they are always trying to improve.” said Guerriero.
Nick was first introduced to video games when he begin playing Motorcross Maddness, which is an early 2000’s racing game that featured races like baja, stunts, enduro, supercross, and motorcross. Nick’s mom could be considered the pioneer of streaming because of the massive amounts of CD’s they have stored at his home from when he was younger. “My mom used to love filming us. So we have just boxes of boxes of CD’s from where she would film us playing video games.” said Guerriero.
Since 2013 and season 2, Nick has had a huge passion for League of Legends. First being introduced to the game when he bought a laptop to play video games with his brother who did not have the urge as much to play League. However, he has used this game as an escape from reality and time to spend with friends. “Not something I revolve around, but it is something that I love doing that relaxes me.” said Guerriero.
Outside of Esports, Nick enjoys being social and meeting new people. “I’ve always been a social person.” said Guerriero. Also admitting that this pandemic has been a struggle for him when trying to enjoy something like meeting new people.
As nothing is set in stone beyond graduating this spring for the senior swimmer, “I’m just trying to take opportunities as they come,” said Guerriero. “I’m trying to go into something, whatever it is, and build upon it.”
Marc Webb, a Freshmen and new member of the Esports team, is no stranger to Wilson, North Carolina. Growing up just miles down the road, Webb is a graduate of Hunt High School in Wilson County. Which may explain his family tradition of rooting on the Duke Blue Devils. In just his first year here on campus, Webb has been enjoying the thrill and excitement that comes with competing on the Esports team.
For most first year students at a new school, finding friends and getting to know people can be a difficult thing. However, Webb found the Esports team to be an easy outlet to connect with other students and make friends. “Coming into college you really do not know anybody and the Esports team was one of the first things that I had did. So I was able to make friends pretty easy” said Webb.
Marc grew up playing the original classics on the Nintendo DS, which were Mario Cart, Sonic, and Pokémon. However, he then begun to gravitate towards the Xbox Console where he picked up the original Call of Duty Black Ops I. With a joyous chuckle, “Zombies” said Webb. Any video game fanatic knows that this Call of Duty’s zombies had a special type of nostalgia with it.
However, Webb has found a different game to compete in for the Bulldogs. After being introduced to the game Fortnite by a friend and then becoming even more fond of the game after watching some of the top streamers like Ninja and CouRageJD play. Webb was immediately hooked.
Since arriving on campus, Marc has been one of the leaders of the Fortnite team and that has earned him the spot of team captain. “Marc has quickly grown into one of our leaders on the Fortnite team. He’s very passionate about the game and making improvements to the team.” Said Paul Christianson, the head coach of the Esports program.
Outside of video games, Marc enjoys basketball and cheering on his Blue Devils. Even noting some of his favorite players to come through the program were Kyrie Irving, Brandon Ingram, and Zion Williamson. He also enjoys meeting new people, traveling to new places and competing in the dodgeball tournaments on campus.
“Marc has done well in practice, competition, and in the classroom. He’s very intelligent and has a bright future ahead of him!” Said Coach Christianson.
Among the several different teams the Barton College Esports team has, the League of Legends team is a focal point of the program. This team is led by first year Barton student and team captain, Ian D’meza. D’meza is currently a Junior after transferring from Penn State University where he spent two years prior. Hailing from the sunny beaches of Miami, Florida, the bilingual latin decent was a graduate of Pines Charter High School in 2014, where he participated on the high school lacrosse team.
Since coming to Wilson in the fall of 2020, D’meza has enjoyed the close knit community that is Barton College. “I like the interactivity that there seems to be between professors and students. It seems like the professors have the time for you. You just do not feel like another number or grade,” said D’meza. He not only noticed this, but also the culture shift from Miami to Wilson. “Miami is so different from cultures, foods, and just how people act. Everyone in North Carolina just seems nice and interactive.” said D’meza.
With the League of Legends team consisting of a lot of young talent, D’meza will be relied upon to take lead in strategy and competition roles. “Ian has really helped take our League of Legends team to the next level. He’s been a great asset to our team.” said Head Esports Coach Paul Christianson, “He has a great deal of expertise in the game and helps lead our game strategy.”
D’meza has always been attracted to video games. He remembers growing up on Pokemon for the Gameboy Color and Kingdom of Hearts on the Playstation 2. “My father enjoyed games and they always seemed to call to me the idea of having an escape from reality into a world all your own was appealing and provided a sense of magic/fantasy which is always a big thing for kids.” said D’meza.
He was introduced to League of Legends back at Penn State when his roommates showed him the game. He had never played the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), however, he quickly learned the strategies of the five on five arena game. ” There is so much replay ability because there is strategy, different players, every game is different.” said D’meza. His attraction and dedication to the game has been on display before. Prior to last season, D’meza, peaked on the rankings of the game at top 5% in North America.
As for the 2021 spring season, D’meza believes they have what it takes to compete at a high level. “We are a young team, however, as a team I feel that we are growing.” said D’meza. “Since the first semester we’ve developed a different method of playstyle which we hope to strengthen our team as a whole and allow us to perform.” said D’meza. Overall, he still believes that they will need to work on communication and strategies moving forward.
Since arriving to Barton, D’meza has enjoyed meeting and getting to know new people. “Barton shows a lot of promise for me. So I can’t wait to do more stuff here.” said D’meza.
Mitchell McKittrick, a member of the League of Legends team has accepted a position to be a student representative for the National Association of Collegiate Esports. The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) was looking for people to join their board of student representatives and McKittrick was one of the few chosen for the committee.
When asked about how the opportunity came about, “just another opportunity for me that I stumbled across” said McKittrick. Somewhat downplaying the opportunity, McKittrick, was in fact excited to take on an opportunity like this. “I’m excited to take on this leadership position,” said McKittrick.
Throughout his time serving on the committee, McKittrick will be the voice of the students who compete in NACE. He will be the first line of communication when it comes to what NACE can do to be better for its students competing in the league.
As just a freshman, McKittrick was ecstatic when he received the news about being accepted. “I’m already so capable of having these big leadership roles that I feel like I can make an impact, more than just competing in League of Legends,” said McKittrick.
As he awaits a start date of when meetings will begin, McKittrick will be competing on the League of Legends team where they will be competing for the first time this season in the College League of Legends Fall Invitational September 29.
Mckittrick explained how he would like to be apart of the organization for the remainder of his time here at Barton. “My biggest thing is making a lasting impression on the team,” said McKittrick.