CG needs esports


Nolan Canfield

A computer screen displays the homepage for “Valorant,” a popular competitive video game.

Nolan Canfield, CGTV Editor

The room is dark. The tension is palpable. The team’s star player wipes the sweat from his brow. The game is tied, and everything depends on this final play. Everyone gets quiet. With a sudden shout, the announcers declare a victor. No, this was not a football or a basketball game. This was an esports game.

Center Grove should have implemented an esports program a while ago. Esports, or electronic sports, are organized competitions over different video games like “League of Legends,” “Valorant” and “Rocket League.” Schools like Carmel High School and Mooresville High School have already implemented such programs. Esports would be very beneficial for both our school and our students. 

A school esports team would be a great way for students with similar interests in video games to socialize and make friends. The Gamers’ Guild is a good example of how an esports team would help. Gamers’ Guild is a great way for students with a passion for tabletop games and roleplaying games to make friends, and we have seen friendships form because of that club. 

Junior Jackson Dills is in the process of creating an esports club for our school. While he has secured a location to host the club, Dills is still seeking a club sponsor and other support for the club. He recognizes the benefits of having a club for people that share his interests to come together and socialize.

“Esports is competitive, but at the same time, you need to work well with your partners,” Dills said. “You need to be able to know them well and bond with them. I feel like it would be very similar to the comradery in Gamers’ Guild. It’s going to be a bit more focused, but I feel like it would still be just as strong.”

An esports club could function exactly the same as Gamers’ Guild and help forge friendships for students interested in playing video games competitively.

In addition, an esports club would provide great benefits to students. For example, playing video games competitively improves students’ ability to work with others, their social skills and their brain function. The world of competitive video games relies on the ability to properly communicate. Online multiplayer games like “Valorant” and “League of Legends” especially require a certain level of communication. By playing games like these, students are challenged to learn how to properly communicate and help others. Additionally, in 2015, the University of California Irvine conducted a study that proved that playing 3D video games boosted memory function. It is important for people to keep their brain engaged and stimulated, so an esports club would be a good way for students to keep their brains healthy.

Esports can also provide direct help with students’ futures. In recent years, more colleges have been implementing esports programs. With these new programs, they are also offering scholarships for esports competitors. More colleges are looking for students who have an interest in competing in video game competitions. The National Association of Collegiate Esports reports that over 170 colleges offer esports programs and offer around $16 million a year in related scholarships.

In addition to college programs, the esports field has been growing in recent years. The industry offers many more jobs than just playing video games. If you have experience in esports, you can be a coach, manager or announcer. Each esports team has different opportunities that would be available to people that had these experiences as a high schooler. For students who are interested in a future in game design or programming (like me), an esports team would be a good learning experience. It would teach kids about games and different game mechanics that they can then use in the future.

If setting up a team sounds too complicated, the Indiana High School Esports Network can help. The Indiana High School Esports Network helped schools like Carmel High School set up esports teams. In addition to helping us start an esports team, they also set up tournaments and competitions that we can compete in. However, this wouldn’t limit our school to only competing in-state. In the past, Carmel High School has competed with schools on a national level. Center Grove should be doing the same thing.

In conclusion, an official Center Grove esports team would be very beneficial to our school. Center Grove is already a leading force in athletics and other extracurriculars, so why not try out esports?