The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

Kevin Rinald
Members of the FCHS Esports team at practice. Photo courtesy of Kevin Rinald.

Exploring Esports

What does FCHS have in common with 8,000 other high schools in the U.S.? An Esports team. Short for “electronic sports,” Esports allows students the opportunity to compete in games such as Overwatch, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart, and Splatoon. Scholastic gaming lets students combine their love for electronic games with the benefits of working with peers on a team.

“We play competition games, goof off with friends, tell jokes, and then play other games,” said Dylan Sanchez, a Mario Kart and Smash Bros substitute.

On any given day, some players may be practicing game skills, while others are competing depending on what game they play. Some players may compete multiple times a week if they play more than one game.
During competitions, especially in team-based games such as Overwatch and Rocket League, teamwork and team chemistry is vital.

Sanchez said one of the things he appreciates about Esports is “the people you can meet, as they are people who joined in order to go pro. Others do it in order to fit in somewhere.”

Long-term participation in Esports can provide opportunities to make money. For example, the highest ever cash prize from an Esports competition was $40 million for the game Dota 2 at The International 2021, an annual Esports tournament. However, the benefits of Esports do not end with money or the option of a career. Playing on this team also gives the players important skills.

“Many of the players don’t participate in other organized activities, so this is their first real experience in a team environment. While you may not be physically working out, you are still practicing communicating, teamwork skills, and working with others to achieve a common goal,” said FCHS Esports coach Kevin Rinald.

Some Esports players also believe that being on the team also gives them essential skills. “I think [the skills are] a combination of the usual bonuses from sports– working as a team and all that –as well as the improvement of skills tailored to Esports hand-eye coordination, focus, and reaction time,” said junior and Esports player Cooper Leyshon.

Esports is a growing sport around the world and in schools around the world as well with many colleges offering Esports scholarships. The National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE), the largest membership association for college esports, currently has 170 active member schools with over 5,000 participants.
Just like physical athletes, Esports players have role models they look up to.

“I admire LazyPurple, a TF2 (Team Fortress 2) creator who hasn’t posted in a while. I also like watching game theory videos,” said Sanchez.

If you’re interested in joining the Esports team in the future, see teacher Kevin Rinald in Room 4114.

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