Top of the Morning, Feb. 24, 2024

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The momentum e-sports continues to gain on college campuses was never more evident than at halftime of the Parkland-DACC men's basketball game this month in Danville.

That's when Michael Davis Canady — DC to friends — was presented with his national championship ring by Danville Area Communty College e-sports coach Guido Esteves as the crowd went nuts.

"Nervous, excited ... I was feeling a lot of things," the now-famous freshman from Catlin said. "It made me feel accomplished."

DACC's first national champ in e-sports won a 32-person "Mario Kart" bracket in December. Before the tournament started, Esteves said he'd score DC a ring if he won it all. "I said, 'You're on,'" said DC, who dominated the competition. The Salt Fork grad (Class of '23) keeps the ring tucked away at home but slips it on when competing.

Today, DC is a celebrity on campus. DACC President Stephen Nacco congratulated him on X and strangers stop him between classes.

"I like meeting new people," he said.

The best gamer in these parts credits his parents — Jenni and Dwayne — who got him started with a Nintendo Wii for Christmas when he was 5.

"I've been into video games for a long time — I'm very passionate," he said. The key to doing so well "is the amount of hours I put into the game. Experience is the best teacher."

DACC's state-of-the-art e-sports lab is DC's mecca. He celebrated his national title with fellow Jaguars at Fujiyama Steakhouse in Danville.

"I'm a big camaraderie person," he said. "It wasn't a victory for just me; it was a victory for a team as a whole."