E-Sports introduced at ALHS

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This year at AL, a new E-Sports association team is competing as an after-school club. E-Sports is a competitive and fast-growing platform with an expected growth rate of almost 300 million viewers by 2023, according to statista.com. E-Sports stands for electronic sports, but should not be confused or associated with casual video game playing.

There is a lot that separates E-Sports apart from recreational video games. E-Sports is a popular platform that consists mainly of professional gamers who compete in strict and organized tournaments while playing popular video games. Video games are something people are involved in for recreational play, but E-Sports players compete for awards, such as money and other tangible prizes.

The standard number of players for a team is five, but there could be more depending on the number of backup players. This is something our E-Sports team had to decide tentatively according to Ryan Sinclair, who is currently the E-Sports sponsor. The club saw a total of 71 students try out for the team. The people chosen attended practices after school with their very first tournament held on September 9th.

Sinclair says the club will play “Rainbow Six Seige” in the fall, “Rocket League” in the winter, and “Smite” in the spring. These are popular games that have been out for several years now, but their momentum in the gaming world has stayed strong. Sinclair believes our E-Sports team has a ton of potential to become great as their team consists of players who work hard and want to win.

“I want them to do good but I also want them to build good team leadership skills,” Sinclair said. “I obviously want them to win because you don’t practice and then show up to lose.”

Along with a new sport comes new friendships and opportunities. This is something many people look forward to. 

“I’m most excited to work with my teammates and talk to people I’ve never met before,” sophomore Nolan Pogge said. “I also think it will be fun communicating with them.”

Now while some kids look forward to making those connections in their sport some kids keep their eye on the prize. 

“I’m most excited to be able to play in the bigger tournaments where you can win cash prizes and scholarships,” sophomore Mathew Kaiser said. 

These tournaments haven’t been completely organized and sorted out yet, but it has been confirmed that the events and tournaments will be remote and within the state of Iowa. The team will play against other Iowa schools, as it is an Iowa state-recognized program. Prizes for these tournaments haven’t been determined yet, but talk of scholarships have been thrown around. Closer to the holiday season is when a lot of these tournaments will take place. Prizes other than these scholarships haven’t been finalized yet. 

The future of our E-Sports team and E-Sports within the Council Bluffs Community School District is looking bright. Sinclair believes this club will be a success as they have already had talks of expansion within the program. 

“As long as we continue to have a turn out I believe we will grow to exceed others expectations.”