eSports: The Up-and-Coming Team at IHS

Elias Keach and AJ Pezza

Most people think of video games as a fun recreational activity that kids do on the weekends, but for the esports team here at IHS, it’s something completely different.  While still enjoying the fun nature of video games, the esports team adds a competitive aspect that most video game enjoyers don’t get to experience.  They do this by playing matches against other schools, similar to any other sports team at IHS.

The esports team has been running since 2020, and it’s mentored by Mr. Evans.  The team meets 3 days per week in the library, but each day is dedicated to different games.  The team practices and competes together in different games spanning multiple genres.  These games include League of Legends and Splatoon on Tuesdays, Super Smash Bros on Wednesdays, and Mario Kart and Rocket League on Thursdays.  League of Legends is the most popular.  During our interview, we asked some of the members about the selection and how they landed on this lineup of games.  They said that this list wasn’t exactly concrete and the club was always open to new games, as long as they are popular enough to find players as well as opponents to compete with.  The other consideration for new games is the age rating.  If you have ever been into video games, you may have noticed the small lettering found on most games that indicate a suggested age rating.  These ratings are E (everyone), E10+ (10 years +), T (teen), and M (mature). For a game to be allowed by the esports team, it needs to be rated E10+ with a few T-rated exceptions. These ratings aren’t the only things considered when reviewing if a game is a good fit for the club, for example, League of Legends, despite being rated T, is allowed because it doesn’t contain any realistic or graphic violence.  

We also asked one of the members about the environment of the team.  “It’s pretty casual, ” he said.  “We mostly just do it for fun.” Although they play competitively against schools, it seemed to us that the main goal of the team is for fun and enjoyment.   Also according to Mr. Evans, the team’s mentor/coach, “The team has been running for about 3 years now,” and “League of legends has consistently had the largest teams and most competition.”  He also admitted that “it’s sometimes difficult to find other schools to play against,” but seemed optimistic about the future given the growing popularity of esports.

Esports, although commonly thought of as a new phenomenon, have been around since the mid ‘90s, although they’ve only begun to gain a very large following recently.  The global number of esports fans has increased dramatically in recent years, with more and more teams and corporations being formed around esports as well.  This new boom in popularity and economic presence is likely a big part of the reason we are seeing teams being formed in schools.

Overall, the esports team at IHS is an up-and-coming extracurricular destined to grow with the popularity of esports. They’re always looking for members, so if you’re into video games and have some extra time after school, head to the library and check it out!