Esports club holds sign-ups, looks to start competing

As+he+leads+the+meeting%2C+Esports+sponsor+Andrew+Holan+tells+students+about+the+new+club.+The+Esports+Club+met+for+the+first+time+Wednesday%2C+Sept.+1.+Students+can+sign+up+for+the+group+by+scanning+the+QR+code+on+posters+around+the+school.

Amanda Hare

As he leads the meeting, Esports sponsor Andrew Holan tells students about the new club. The Esports Club met for the first time Wednesday, Sept. 1. Students can sign up for the group by scanning the QR code on posters around the school.

Amanda Hare, Alyssa Clark, and Emily Diaz - ENN

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With the continued rise of esports, a new video game club will be starting, and its next meeting will occur Wednesday, Sept. 8, as students can sign up using the QR codes posted around the school.

Esports stands for competitive gaming, and teams meet in organized, multiplayer games. The high school introduced this club this semester. The first meeting occurred  Wednesday, Sept. 1, and one goal the sponsor and the new members want includes making the activity a University Interscholastic League-eligible sport.

In his first year in the district, chemistry and physics teacher Andrew Holan, who has experience with high school esports, will sponsor the club.

The UIL will be voting again this year to see if esports should be allowed into its competitions. But for students, the club members said they will maintain high standards regardless of UIL eligibility or not. To participate in competitions, students must be in good academic standing, just like any sports team.

To learn about the new club forming, junior Heath Lilly talks to Esports adviser Andrew Holan. Lilly’s favorite video game is Overwatch. “I have some background in competitive gaming because I got offered onto a professional Overwatch team, but I couldn’t take it because I was too young,” Lilly said. “That was in 2018.” (Amanda Hare)

“I built the entire esports thing that they’re running in Frisco right now, I designed it,” Holan said. “Their curriculum is based off the curriculum I wrote. I’ve been working on it for about four years. It took me a while to write all of it. A lot of it is going to be building up from the ground up. But, you guys (the club members), getting in now, you can work with it as it grows.”

At the meeting, students filled out general interest forms and received answers to their questions. Students also identified what platforms they play games on, and what some of their school-friendly, PG-13 games were.

“The games that we’re going to be playing are Overwatch, Valorant, League of Legands, Rocket League, Smash Brothers,” Holan said. “We’re also going to do Madden, NBA2K, Fortnite and Call of Duty. I honestly think this is going to be much larger when we get more out there. Once we get our teams, we can scrimmage other schools. If COVID stops, we can start live tournaments. Until then, we’re going to be doing a lot of online practices, scrimmages against each other.”

All the members who are interested in the club will have to try out for certain positions they want, like administration roles, coaches and team managers. Students who make the teams of their choice will be starters for varsity, but everyone will still be able to practice. None of the varsity positions will be permanent, so there is a chance for every student to be a starter at some point.

“If you’re interested in gaming, we’re going to get you on the competitive gaming side,” Holan said. “But if you’re interested in a career in esports, I have a lot of connections with companies around here. They really want to connect with you guys. There’s a lot more jobs recently. Any job that would be a traditional sports job, will be for esports soon. Social media marketing, broadcast side. We’re going to be gaming competitively, but we’re also going to be having lessons like where I talk about how to build a gaming computer on a budget.”

Hand raised, junior Alex Drum waits to ask a question at the first video game club of the school year. The video game club will meet every Wednesday for 30 minutes in Room 2117. Drum’s favorite video game is Destiny 2 and he hopes to work as an admininstrator for a team. (Alyssa Clark)

According to Holan, plenty of jobs and careers have been built and reformed around the rise of online, competitive gaming. Each meeting will be talking about a different subject, all from building computers from bare parts, to how students can win scholarships for their tournament wins.

“I do a lot of the admin aspects of esports as is, so it sounded like a fun thing to get into,” junior Alex Drum said. “I’m in video design and programming, and I told them (my friends) to show up, and they did.”

Sophomore Emily Diaz works as president of the club.

“I was mostly inspired by the Dallas Fuel to start playing Overwatch,” Diaz said. “And, I was like, ‘Oh it’s a competitive thing, This should be something I want to do.'”