Noah Johnson, a West Virginia University economics majors from Baltimore, Maryland, won WVU’s first Level Next Madden National Championship on Nov. 18, 2021. (WVU Graphic)
Noah Johnson, a West Virginia University economics majors from Baltimore, Maryland, won WVU’s first Level Next Madden National Championship on Nov. 18, 2021. (WVU Graphic)

New WVU esports player wins national championship, sets tone for growing Mountaineer program

West Virginia University is making a statement on the national collegiate esports field with Thursday’s Level Next Madden National Championship win for Noah Johnson, a WVU economics major from Baltimore, Maryland, and the University’s first esports recruit.

“Noah winning the National Championship and also going undefeated is setting the precedent for what we’re building at WVU in Morgantown,” Josh Steger, director of WVU esports and varsity coach, said.

Johnson, last year’s runner-up in Collegiate Madden while at Maryland, advanced to the winner’s bracket as a Mountaineer Wednesday with a last-second field goal to beat Weber State, 17-14.

On Thursday, after taking down Oregon, 31-14, Johnson beat Weber State again in the championship game, 23-21, winning a prize of $25,000 by converting a 4th and 10 play to maintain possession of the ball and run out the clock for the win.

For students interested in joining Johnson in competitive gaming, WVU Esports is currently holding tryouts for competition to start in the spring for Call of Duty, Rocket League and Valorant.

Recruiting also continues for the 2022-2023 season. Potential scholarships are available to interested players in League of Legends along with Rocket League, Valorant and Call of Duty.

The Fall 2022 season will coincide with the launch of a esports minor at WVU.

On Friday, Johnson will be switching gears and competing on the professional level in the Ultimate Thanksgiving Madden Championship Series as the No. 4 ranked Madden NFL 22 player in the world.

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