Sports

The UCF Knights were at the NCAA Final Four. And took second place in this competition.

Devon Thibodeau, right, and Ethan Honaker, both juniors at Leavitt High School play a basketball video game at Central Maine Community College’s ESports arena’s open house, Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Auburn, Maine.
Devon Thibodeau, right, and Ethan Honaker, both juniors at Leavitt High School play a basketball video game at Central Maine Community College’s ESports arena’s open house, Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Auburn, Maine. AP

The University of Central Florida was represented at the NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

But not for the men’s basketball tournament.

UCF’s eSports team, the Gaming Knights took second place in a Rocket League national competition, the school announced, during the Final Four Fan Fest.

UCF lost to the University of Akron in a best-of-7 series 4-2 for the title. The Knights beat Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, located near Albany, New York, in the semifinals. To get there, UCF captured a $7,500 prize for winning a Southern Regional over Auburn, LSU and USF.

Rocket League features teams comprised of three players playing soccer with cars, and attempting to score the most goals in a five-minute match.

“It brings a lot of recognition to what we do and legitimizes what we are here for,” UCF Gaming Knights eSports director Kevin Quiroga said in a press release.

According to the school’s announcement, Quiroga said the first Rocket League National Championships saw peak viewership of the two-hour broadcast was more than 26,000.

Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.

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