St. Clair Saints Varsity Esports were recognized during the first-ever National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) National Awards on July 24, earning two honours.
Jaspreet "Brownsiide" Bhatia was awarded Fortnite Coach of the Year after a terrific season. As a varsity player, Brownsiide was very successful earning a top-8 finish in North America for St. Clair in 2019. His accomplishments continued into 2020, coaching two separate duo teams. This past season, Brownsiide played a major role in putting together arguably the best varsity Fortnite team on the continent as his teams finished first (Nicolas "Ciriuhs" Ciri and Brett "Beauty" Graves) and 16th place (Dawsyn "Swell" Lefebvre and Brayden "Intrinsic" Robert) in CSL regular season. The team was a dominant force and moved forward together on route to winning two NACE Spring Cup Championships. He has devoted as much time as possible to his players to make sure they can be the best versions of themselves both in and out of game.
"I feel honored to win coach of the year. We dedicated a lot of time and effort into improving this past year," said Brownsiide. "It’s very humbling to see our hard work being recognized."
Saints Varsity Fortnite captain, Nicolas "Ciriuhs" Ciri was also recognized as a NACE Fortnite All-Star. Ciri, a business-marketing student, was a catalyst for the team’s success this past season alongside duos partner, Brett "Beauty" Graves. The pair won the CSL Regular Season Championship, beating out 241 teams from across North America, 42 of which the Saints went up against each week in the North East 3 Conference. His success also earned him and the Saints an invite to participate in the $10,000 Invitation ATL event featuring some of Fortnite’s
best including players from FaZE, Ghost and XSET.
"Ciri deserves to be named an all-star," added Brownsiide. "He is the most hardworking player in the league. He puts more time in the game than anyone. He has an amazing work ethic and strives to become the best player and win."
The Saints were also finalists in four other categories. Men’s Student Leader of the Year (Chris Funston), Overwatch Coach of the Year (Austin Dowling), League of Legends Coach of the Year (Yuri Custodio) and Collegiate Broadcast Team of the Year.