Salpointe Catholic joins more than 3,000 high schools with an Esports Team. Esports refers to organized video game competitions that involve collaborative teamwork, communication, sportsmanship and conceptual thinking.
Launched earlier in 2020, Salpointe’s Esports Team is coached by faculty members Amy Ball and Kathy McQuown. Twenty-two students currently make up the Lancers’ Esports Team. These esports athletes compete in the AIA-regulated sports video games of League of Legends and Rocket League. Salpointe fields both Varsity and Junior Varsity teams for both Esports. They meet and compete three or four days a week.
League of Legends is a five-on-five game that employs team strategies similar to hockey across a landscape. The objectives include using your champion's abilities to earn gold pieces by eliminating opponents, assisting allies, taking down towers and inhibitors and, finally, conquering the opponents' nexus. The champions are fantastical characters like sci-fi superheroes.
Rocket League is a three-on-three game in a 3D arena in which the champions/characters are various custom cars that strategize to hit a ball into the opponent's goal. It is compared to soccer in its appearance and strategies.
Esports teams compete in two seasons each year. “We just completed our five-week preseason,” said Coach Ball. “Our League of Legends Varsity team was ranked second in Arizona behind Brophy College Preparatory School, the defending champions in both League of Legends and Rocket League.”
Coach McQuown focuses on the Rocket League team. “Rocket League had a great preseason,” she said. “We mixed things up often to find our strongest teams for the season. Varsity player Frantz Mansueto ‘22 is one of our leaders with great communication skills that helped move us through a successful preseason.”
According to the Varsity Esports Foundation, 82% of high school Esports League members have never participated in extracurricular activities at their schools. Esports provides a community for many students.
“The Salpointe Esports program ignites and unites esports athletes and traditional athletes via AIA-regulated games,” said Coach Ball. “It provides opportunities for college scholarships, varsity letters and life skills desired by universities and employers. Esports at Salpointe affirms the dignity of individual students, reveals their potential, connects teammates in friendship and guides students as they explore and utilize their strengths.”
Esports has helped over 80,000 students to improve grades, attendance and classroom engagement. Now Salpointe joins the playing field, already showing promise and potential.
Good luck, Lancers!
By Carissa Krautscheid