E-sports club achieves wide popularity but has no traditional meetings

October 14, 2019 — by Esther Luan and Andy Chen

The e-sports club, which achieved remarkable popularity last year as a new club, aims to hold more tournaments


After an accidental fall from a ladder led to a severe tailbone fracture two years ago, senior Daniel Burgos was initially devastated. As the weeks of recovery dragged on, he realized he would no longer be able to play both water polo and lacrosse on a statewide level. 

“It was really hard for me,” Burgos recalled. “I’ve always been drawn to competition, and I had been playing sports for my whole life.”

Burgos’ spent almost half a year recovering from his injury. For two months, he was almost unable to walk. Even after recovering for almost a whole semester, he was unable to continue participating in either one of his favorite sports.

Gradually, Burgos built himself back up, and he began to search for other outlets for his energy.

“I’ve been into video games my entire life,” he said. “I found a competitive side of video games that I really liked and found out that a lot of people were playing them.” 

With this, Burgos saw an opportunity to combine the school’s gaming cultures in a new club, and co-founded the esports club at the beginning of the last school year with senior Jackson Gress.  

The club achieved remarkable influence and numbers in a short time and gained more than 300 Facebook group members within the first month. 

“We knew there was definitely the population of kids out there playing,” Burgos said.

The club, founded by Gress and Burgos at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, has achieved remarkable influence despite still its relatively short history.

According to Gress, the duo was inspired to start the club because they wanted to create an environment in which different groups of people could bond and compete through playing video games. 

Initially, logistics were an issue for the fast-growing group, as none of the current officer team has had any prior experience running other clubs. After experimenting with club management, Gress now feels that they have settled on a way to maximize efficiency, aiming to host better and more frequent events. 

Thus, the e-sports club does not adhere to the traditional system of regular club meetings; instead, they have created their own unique system of management. The administrative team consistently hosts executive meetings, but interaction among members primarily occurs online on the club’s Discord server, which has around 200 members and is constantly active.

“We usually only commune for tournaments,” Burgos said. “Meetings are hard to do because [gaming] is such a nonphysical thing that it’s weird to ask them to come in person.” The club has in fact tried regular school meetings before, with little success: Meeting turnouts would usually be fewer than 20.

Though the club does not meet regularly in person, they plan to frequently host events, mainly tournaments, that members can watch or participate in. The club has already hosted a multitude of these tournaments, the largest of which was their “League of Legends” tournament last year, which was broadcast on Twitch to a peak audience of 250.

Many of the club’s milestones have been through their tournaments, Gress said, as some of their twitch clips have surpassed more than a thousand views. “I’ve had students and teachers even come up to me and say ‘I watched the tournament, it looked like a lot of fun,’” Gress said. 

The club is looking to expand its selection of games in hopes of attracting a wider audience. 

“The best part of the club last year was being able to hold these tournaments with people across the school and streaming them online.” Gress said. He hopes to host tournaments this year with games like Super Smash Bros and League of Legends. Additionally, the club created a school Minecraft server, which has become increasingly popular with underclassmen.

The club’s central goal remains for every member to have fun watching and competing with others in various events. 

“[When we host], it's pretty casual, cause we’re all friends,” Burgos said. “It’s always a good time.”