Esports Completes Successful First Year

Esports Completes Successful First Year

South High School’s (SHS) ESports team had a solid first year with over 20 students participating in the fall and spring seasons. Caleb Stewart, English teacher at SHS, spoke about the experience, “My favorite part has been watching students who are shy, reserved, and quiet in class completely become active and engaged during practices and matches.”

Stewart learned much about the gaming community through the SHS team. “There are many skills needed to be successful as an ESports team member,” he explained. “The players not only need to be strategic when planning character choices, opponent bans, game approaches, player positions, and other in-game adjustments, but they also need to be effective communicators so that everyone is on the same page during games.”

“Team members are actively thinking, planning, and reflecting before, during, and after matches,” said Stewart. “They feel the joy of wins and the sting of losses just like any other sport.”

Stewart set up a visit to the University of Kansas' ESports space when students became curious what it was like at the college level. Stewart explains, “Our students got to take a tour of the KU gaming facility, ask questions to the KU ESports players and coaches, and spend some time playing on their technology. They didn't hold back and were able to get all of their questions answered, and all of the players left that day with some tips on how to get even better at their games. Not only was this awesome from an ESports perspective, but this was the first time on a college campus for many of the students. They now have seen that there are places in a college setting for gamers like themselves.”

The SPS program is looking at some changes, based upon the first year. Rocket League and League of Legends were the two games available for team members to choose from this year, and team members could only pick one. With the addition of console games next school year, team members will be able to select two games which will allow them to sub for anyone who may be missing.

The ESports program, as well as Unified Bowling that was also added this school year, were funded by revenue generated from sports advertising.