What is eSports?


Madalynn Owens

Austin Beckman carefully plans his moves during the competition against Hickman High School.

Madalynn Owens, Yearbook Editor

On Tuesday, October 10 the Battle Gaming Team travelled to Hickman High School to participate in an eSports competition. The Columbia Public Schools gaming teams play League of Legends, an online multiplayer battling game. The event was sponsored by Ukatsu, a Columbia company co-founded by Battle alumni Ben Brooks that aims to develop positive relationships and problem solving in young adults from online gaming. Ukatsu brought an elaborate set up including computers, monitors, and showcase materials.

During an eSports competition, there are five team members that compete at one time. Each team member picks a specific character they wish to play and is in charge of a certain area on the playing field.

Aaron Musgrove said, “I like to play Kayn because he is a very versatile champion with two different forms that help out in different situations.”

Luis Patillo picks his champions for slightly different reasons: “I like to pick Teemo because I like to make the other team mad because of his reputation.”

The different characters have certain strengths and items that help them excel in their different areas. During an eSports competition, it is common to have two to three matches, and each match can last anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes.

The gaming team knows that recruiting new members is a challenging task, especially when many students don’t know what League of Legends is. Currently, there are ten people on the gaming team, with five on varsity and five on the junior varsity team.

Musgrove said, “We’re hoping to be able to create another team of people that are interested in learning to play but are just started with learning the game.”

Team practices consist of working on mechanical skills and team composition as well as their communication skills as a team. Patillo said the team practices from 4-6pm on Thursdays and Fridays, “But most of us practice for a couple hours each night on our own as well.”

The competition was moderated by the principal of Hickman High School, Tony Gragnani, and the Hickman eSports coach, Alex Soper. The moderators had a “master screen” projected for the audience and provided insight and commentary during the matches.

Once the match started, the audience immediately tuned in to the master screen with occasional cheers for their team. There was a two minute delay from what the audience and commentators were seeing and what the players were doing.

The Kewpies played relentlessly and attacked the Spartans from each section of the playing field resulting in a win for the Kewpies in both matches. Hickman played Rock Bridge High School on September 8 and also won 2-0. The Battle Gaming Team is trying to learn what they can from their loss against Hickman and are currently practicing to better take on the competition at the next tournament.

Musgrove said, “We could have worked a lot better on our communication as a team, but we struggled a bit because we haven’t had as much practice playing as a team as Hickman has had.”

Patillo agreed with Musgrove and said that they are now working on their communication during practices: “We are just going to have to play a lot more as a team to work on these things like communication and team fighting. We did a great job of selecting champions and rotations but we still have more to work on.”

During the competition Ukatsu mentioned they are looking into a CPS tournament with all three of the high schools. More competition dates for Battle’s team are to be announced. Interested potential team members can contact Ms. Snavely at [email protected] or in room F103.