John is a junior in his second year of Journalism. He likes to write, play video games, and watch movies.
Game On: Flucos Enter the World of Gaming Sports
October 16, 2019
Next time you say, “Mom, I’m playing this game for school,” you could be telling the truth. E-sports (Electronic Sports) is now a sports category through the Virginia High School League (VHSL) which means that all those hours you spend playing online games might just earn you a varsity letter.
Still in its pilot stages, the Esports League preseason began Oct. 14, with the regular competition starting on Oct. 21. Overseen by Coach Aaron Grubbs and co-coaches Melissa Moore and Cameron Wiley, the team will be using the Engineering Computer Lab to discuss team strategies and practice.
The games the Esports team will be playing include SMITE, League of Legends, and Rocket League. VHSL rules do not allow M-rated games or anything with gun violence to be played for the sports, which eliminates popular games like Call Of Duty and Halo.
“Matches will be Tuesday’s for League of Legends and Thursday for SMITE and Rocket League,” said Grubbs. As of now, practices are usually Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3:55-6:00 pm. In addition, they usually have a meeting from 3:55-4:55 pm on Tuesdays.
According to Playvs.com, the official website for the league which is used to schedule practices and games, “Esports is growing exponentially with 400 million fans worldwide who repeatedly pack out arenas. Currently, there are 200 colleges and universities offering almost 10 million dollars in scholarships.” Playvs.com also notes that having Esports teams in high school “enables students to do what they love and provides them with additional opportunities to earn scholastic recognition.”
Grubbs jumped at the chance to lead this new sport at FCHS. “Esports offers a unique opportunity to involve students that may never have participated in a sport or after-school activities while in high school. I think that is one of the main reasons I really wanted to be involved as a coach,” said Grubbs.
The idea behind having such a team has been in the works for over a year. “Honestly, I wanted to make a gaming club last year. This solved the problem and saved a lot of paperwork,” said junior Travis Morris, who is a participant on the Esports team.
At 21 members, the team has the potential to face teams from anywhere in the state because the games can occur wirelessly. “I am not sure as of yet who the competition will be. However, since it is online and we compete from the school without travel, it could be almost any school in the state,” said Grubbs.
Esports is the second new sport to premiere at FCHS in 2019, joining field hockey. For more information on field hockey, read “Hustle, Hit, and Never Quit” by FCHS Journalism Alison Sawyer.