Students master videogames on Esports team

Mitch Hunter, Staff Writer

  Video Games are a way for people to escape from reality and be lost in a world that isn’t theirs. Some people play video games as competition against other players who love to play the same game. But in order to be good it requires a lot of practice and patience, something students can work on together in the Esports club.

  “The practices are mostly run during the season. There are some pre-season practices if we know of the players that want to participate. Otherwise all practices are done virtually at home at a day/time of the week that works best for all players on the team,” Kathleen Baggot, math teacher and sponsor of the club, said.

  In the world of gaming there are a wide variety of games to choose from: action r pgs, fighting games, first person shooters and so much more. The school offers six games to club members

  “Currently this year Esports has offered Rocket League (3v3), Fortnite (2v2), League of Legends, Overwatch, Super Smash Brothers, and Valorant,” Baggot said.

  Since video games are normally on the computer or other devices, COVID didn’t affect the Esports team all that much. They can compete in matches and tournaments while still being safe.

  “We probably played about 10 or so matches against schools in our area and throughout Illinois,” Zach Icenogle, senior, said.

  A lot of kids join the Esports team because they have a passion for video games or they have nothing else to do, and it seems like it would be really fun.

  “I joined the Esports team to still engage in a competitive experience since at the time, sports were still questionable. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I realized that I have a passion for coaching and gaming, so that could be a possible career path for me,” Icenogle said.

  Additional opportunities include if someone is good at a game they could be signed onto a pro team and play the game and can receive payment for doing so. A person could also be looked at by colleges for scholarships so that they can continue to play in college.

  “There are possibilities to earn scholarships for eSports. There are many college recruiters that watch the Twitch/YouTube streams during games and are in contact with coaches/sponsors on the IHSEA discord,” Baggot said. 

  The gaming community has grown immensely over the years and has gotten bigger than ever. Kids who are passionate about video games can finally show their skill at their favorite game with their fellow classmates and possibly do it as a career.