National Esports College Player Awards 2021-2022

June 21, 2022

Austin Kujawa of Oakland University, Oakland County, MI, has been named the college  NAECAD Player of the Year for 2021-22. In addition to Austin, the following players earned NAECAD All American status: Eli Egli of Dickinson State University, Dickinson, ND; Zach Icenogle of Carthage College,  Kenosha, WI; Divo Cerjan of South Dakota School of the Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD; Keegan  Thompson of Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN; Evan Bruse, Northwestern College, Orange City, IA; Joey  Clemente, Champlain College, Burlington, VT; and Jackson Kandel of University of Mount Union, Alliance, OH, the NAECAD national office announced Tuesday. 

College Player of the Year - Austin Kujawa, Oakland University, MI

Austin Kujawa is a junior at Oakland University and plays Super Smash Bros. for the Grizzlies. Carl Leone,  Head Coach of Esports at Oakland University and NAECAD member states, “Austin is an incredibly dedicated  and hardworking student and competitor and had a great year. In September our most important competitive  event was the Smash Ultimate team competing in the Riptide Major. This was the first Smash Major that our  team has competed in as a team. Austin had an incredible performance in the event placing 193rd of 1024  total players in Singles 1on1 (top 19%); 33rd of 121 total players in Doubles 2on2 (top 27%); 65th of 376 total  players in Squads 3 different characters (top 17%).” Austin is a communications major from Troy, MI. 

These coveted awards recognize individuals for a balance of athletic achievement, sportsmanship and citizenship. While elite performance in the game is important, these awards are aimed at recognizing the overall impact the individual has made. Example characteristics include:

Austin and the other All-Americans will be receiving their awards from NAECAD and will be recognized at the next NAECAD National Convention. 

The National Association of Esports Coaches and Directors (NAECAD – pronounced Nay-cad), founded in 2019, is the primary professional organization for competitive esports coaches and directors at all levels of competitive play (club, high school, college, and professional). NAECAD strives to serve, legitimize, and advance competitive esports at all levels with NAECAD members at the epicenter of leadership, advocacy, and professional development. NAECAD’s vision is for esports to be viewed as a prominent competitive sport with highly trained NAECAD members leading the professional development, growth, and quality of competitive esports. Visit to learn more about NAECAD.

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