Ten thousand fans fill the seats of a Los Angeles indoor arena!!
Here they watch as competitors vie for the one million dollars in prize money at stake. Aside from these prying eyes crowding the bleachers, eight million more tune in from screens across the globe — that’s more than the population of Delaware eight times over.
While some would rightly assume the competition at hand belongs to one of the more widely known and appreciated sports the world has to offer — football, maybe soccer, even tennis — they’d be mistaken. This event was the League of Legends Season 2 World Championship, won by the Taipei Assassins in 2017.
This was one of the largest E-sports events of all time. Some of you reading this might not know the scope of how big the realm of E-sports is, let alone what it is in the first place. For these people, the term E-sports is defined as, “…a multiplayer video game played competitively for spectators, typically by professional gamers.” Though the term professional gamer might seem like something to scoff at, let’s take a deep breath and look back at that one million dollar prize, as well as the fact that teams like the LG Dire Wolves practice for up to 12 hours per day.
Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s get back to West Geauga.
Colin McKinney is a sophomore at the high school. Periods 5a and 5b, you’ll likely find him on his Nintendo Switch, playing Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, a fighting game that came out in 2018. He’s been a fan of this game ever since it came out and has recently decided to put his appreciation to good use. Thus, the West G Super Smash Brothers Ultimate Team was born, advised by math/computer teacher, Mr. Brian Spotts.
The season starts in spring, where the JV and varsity teams will be facing off versus other schools via E-Sports Ohio, a “free to-join educational non – profit e-sports organization and league created by teachers for students” (you can find more about them Here). Though it might seem intimidating, Colin insists that all skill levels are welcome to join; if you’re looking for a new game to pick up, now might be your chance. They’ll be meeting every day in Room 128 during 5b advisory period, so stop by to give them a visit if you’re interested.
Daniel Apsey is a junior on the team. When asked as why so many people are drawn to the game – I, myself, heard people talking about it every other period when the team’s fliers were first put up — he explained that it’s a, “…competitive, fun, and unique game; it’s changed and evolved so much over the years, with new characters and mechanics. It’s an easy game and fun right when you first play, and only gets more fun the more you learn as you go on.”
For those who still question the legitimacy of a competitive video game — a sentiment that inevitably floats around this topic — Dan clarified: “It really depends on your skill level. If you’re going to a tournament and putting in the effort, it’s an e-sport. If you’re just playing for fun at home — you’re just playing it for fun.”
We’ll keep you posted as to how the e-sport e-volves at West Geauga. See more at: https://wgwhirlwind.org/1479/news/e-sports-evolve-with-ease/