UNG Nighthawks claim first-ever eSports PBC championship

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The University of North Georgia (UNG) captured its first-ever Peach Belt Conference (PBC) League of Legends Championship on March 18 at Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia.

The Nighthawks defeated Georgia College 3-1 in the best-of-five final. The championship is the first of its kind in the nation, as the PBC is the first NCAA conference to present a league title in video game competition, or eSports.

League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena video game, where players on one team role play against other teams with the goal of destroying the opposing team’s home base.

UNG was the No. 1 seed going into the tournament with a 12-0 record for the season. The Nighthawks swept No. 8 seed Young Harris College 2-0 in the best-of-three series, then defeated Columbus State University 2-0 in the semifinal match.

The Nighthawks won the first two games in less than 30 minutes, but dropped the third game in a 45-minute slugfest. UNG then bounced back in game four to capture the crown.

UNG now advances to the North American League of Legends Collegiate Championship play-in round. The Nighthawks will be among eight teams in the play-in round, split into two pools of four teams.

The Nighthawks will play three matches against other teams in their pool over the next two weeks. UNG will face off against Big Ten Network runner-up Illinois in a three-game match on April 14. The top two teams in each pool will then advance to the championship round in Los Angeles.

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