DACC eSports team excels in national competitions, to host high school teams Saturday

Apr. 19—DANVILLE — Danville Area Community College has announced the achievements of its eSports team in national collegiate competitions.

With athletes demonstrating skill and strategic acumen, DACC has established itself as an up-and-coming powerhouse in the community college eSports landscape.

Leading the DACC team, DC Canady, a culinary major and the eSports team captain, has advanced to the final four of the Mario Kart Premier Division. Canady is competing for his second national championship. He was awarded his 2023 national championship ring during halftime of the DACC Men's Basketball game on Feb. 14.

Canady became DACC's first-ever national champion in eSports, and is looking to repeat in 2024.

Jake Dupree, a General Studies major, currently ranks 10th in the Mario Kart College Series (CS) division. His consistent performance significantly contributed to the team's success this season.

Sebastian Burton, holding the 13th rank in the Mario Kart CS Division, is not only a Presidential Scholar but also a talented guitar player in the college's pep band.

Justin Wilken, an applied computer science major, excels as the captain of the Smash Bros Crew, securing the 2nd rank nationally in the Smash Brothers Crew Open Series (OS) Division. Wilken's leadership and skill have been pivotal in propelling his team towards national recognition.

The DACC eSports team competes in Mario Kart and Smash Brothers Crew. Mario Kart challenges players with fast-paced races featuring iconic Nintendo characters, while Smash Brothers Crew tests team strategy and combat skills in intense multiplayer battles.

Guido Esteves, the eSports coordinator and a recent DACC graduate, shared his enthusiasm. "This is not only very exciting but it shows the beauty of esports. Even a small community college like DACC can have a nationally ranked esports program. After the NJCAA playoffs, several members of the team are going to a pro tournament in Las Vegas."

DACC's successes in national competitions underscore the growth and potential of its eSports program. The college is dedicated to offering students varied opportunities to hone their skills in competitive settings, equipping them for achievements both within and beyond the gaming arena.

As these athletes gear up for the finals, DACC is encouraging community support and celebration of the achievements, embodying the excellence and potential of collegiate eSports.

The DACC eSports team also has been hosting the IHSA Sectional competition for several years. This year, it will be hosting 140 competitors from 22 regional high schools, including Armstrong, Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin, Danville, Hoopeston, Milford, Salt Fork and Westville, at the Sectional tournament on Saturday, April 20. Winners from Saturday's competition will advance to the State Championships in Mariokart 4 V 4, Smash Brothers, Smash Brothers Crew Battle, Rocket League, and FC24 (Soccer).

Esteves says, "IHSA eSports has grown so big that they had to hold preliminary rounds online this year. Hosting the high school students gives us an opportunity to demonstrate what we have to offer if the students would like to advance to collegiate competition after graduation."

For more information about DACC's eSports program and upcoming events, contact Esteves at