New eSports club capitalizes on popularity of gaming.

November 5, 2018 — by Andrew Li and Isaac Le

Gaming is commonly viewed by adult educators as a nuisance and a distraction. In fact, earlier in the school year, librarians posted signs on library computers alerting students that video gaming playing there will no longer be tolerated.

But gaming doesn’t always get a bad rap around school, as shown by the new eSports and gaming club founded by juniors Daniel Pollard, Timothy Yoon, Brandon Jiang and Jackson Gress.

They meet in the MAP Annex every Thursday at lunch.  Their adviser is media teacher Alex Hemmerich.

As stated on their Facebook, the club’s main goal is to “connect people of all grade levels on their shared love of video games.”

According to junior Tyler Prowse, the club plans to go to internet cafes and dedicate some days playing there.

The club also hopes to create competitive teams in several different video games, including Fortnite and League of Legends.

They hosted a competition online with all Saratoga teams from Oct. 7-8 as a 5v5 double elimination style League of Legends tournament with six participating teams, totaling around 50 people. An officer streamed the event on Twitch, an online game streaming website, where they reached over 950 viewers.

The tournament was double elimination, and Prowse’s team placed third.

“I enjoyed the atmosphere, and it was fun playing and competing against friends,” Prowse said.

When planning for the tournament, the club put a sign-up sheet on their Facebook group.

“It was learning experience, and I thought I went pretty well for how quickly it was put together,” Gress said.

Since Club Day in late September, 60 members have joined, and 120 people have enrolled in their Facebook group, which, according to Pollard, “is great participation considering the 140 signatures that we obtained on Club Day.” They also plan to have recreational teams that do not compete, so more people are able to play.

The eSports club has high hopes for this upcoming school year.

“ESports and gaming in general is generally perceived as a waste of time and nothing comes out of it, but we’re here to help connect and meet new people, and have a good time in an otherwise stressful school environment,” Gress said.


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