NPHS gains an Esports team

At the start of this school year, Stephen Lepire, principal, announced that our school would be starting our own Esports team. Joseph Calaba, Michael Weingarden and Richard Bateman are the three teacher leads of the team, working together to create a fun environment where students can compete in video games.

Lepire has taken the time to reorganize the Sage Lab at campus to better suit the Esports team’s gaming needs. “We have replaced all of the machines in the lab that can be used during the day for all students and for gaming. We have also purchased gaming equipment to go along with the machines including keyboards, mice and other accessories,” Lepire said.

The games that team members can play  are “Rocket League,” “League of Legends,” “Overwatch” and “Super Smash Brothers.”

Calaba hopes to use his perspective as a gamer to his advantage. “Of course I could coach from a general perspective being an avid gamer myself.”

The competitive process is still being developed, so competitions for the start will be internal. “Our goal is not just to do internal competition at our school, but to create a league amongst our high schools,” Calaba said.

This year Esports will be starting off as an interest group open to all gamers. Weingarden, statistics teacher at NPHS, hopes to use his expertise into strategizing with the team, using data to determine whose skills are best and where they should be on a team. He hopes to combine his mathematical knowledge with his passion for video games to help the team out.

“I’m still just a kid at heart…I still like video games and I like playing. As a math teacher I like solving puzzles, and I also like writing computer programs. To me, the idea of being involved in the Esports program just sounds like a whole lot of fun wrapped up in one,” Weingarden said.

Anyone can join the team, and there will be two groups for people to decide to take part in: a recreational team to play for fun, and a competitive team.

Although anyone can join, Bateman has concerns about the disproportionate ratio of boys to girls currently in the interest group. “There weren’t a lot of girls at the first meeting, but I know there are a lot of female gamers on our campus, and I’m hoping more can know that anyone can join, it’s not just a guy kind of thing,” Bateman said. 

While Bateman shares an interest in video games, he sees himself as more of a publicist for the team, using his technology skills to better advertise for people to join or support.

It is hoped that this interest group can eventually develop into a sport, but it is unclear on whether it could be considered a P.E. credit. 

Although the interest group does not start until spring, the students and staff are already excited to get Esports going. 

“We are excited to get this going. I know students are excited. I can’t wait for the first type of competitions we get off the ground,” Lepire said.

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