Salpointe’s new Esports team has fostered connection during a time of isolation and distance. In its first year, the Esports team
has led to many positive outcomes for Lancer students, coaches and parents.
Connections have been formed among students in friendships, study partners and teammates. Sophomore Felipe Garcia said, “Esports gives students a chance to be part of a team atmosphere in this new virtual world. I’m happy that it happened now because we don’t get to see each other as often, so it’s a great experience. I get to make some new friends, talk to some old friends, play with them and compete for the school. That’s the fun!”
Felipe and his teammate Tyler Bish ‘22 were featured in a KOLD news story
in November 2020. Felipe told KOLD that Esports helps improve critical thinking, teamwork, communication and sportsmanship skills. Esports is also known to improve academic performance, attendance, time management, resilience and conceptual thinking.
New students have also found connections at Salpointe during a time of distanced learning because of the Esports team. Senior twins Charles Derbes ‘21 and Jean-Pierre Derbes ‘21 transferred to Salpointe after three years of living in France. As experienced Esports athletes, Charles and Jean-Pierre were instrumental in Salpointe’s League of Legends team making the state playoffs. They formed friendships through Esports and were noticed by college recruiters. Salpointe’s Esports athletes have been able to connect with potential college teams, many of which offer scholarships.
Esports has also been beneficial for the two coaches, Amy Ball and Kathy McQuown. “Esports improved the school during a pandemic experience for myself and several students,” said head coach Amy Ball. “It made all the difference in my life as a teacher this year.”
The Lancers had a successful season. The League of Legends team placed in third, the top 4%, out of 81 teams in the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) and in the top 16% of teams in the multi-state Mountain Region.
“The wins were nice,” said Coach Ball, “and the connections we made to people were invaluable!”