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With the rise in popularity of esports, a group of students founded the esports club.

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Junior Sam Rauter plays a computer game. Rauter is the President of the eSports club.

Junior Sam Rauter plays a computer game. Rauter is the President of the eSports club.

TJ Vore

Junior Sam Rauter plays a computer game. Rauter is the President of the eSports club.

TJ Vore

TJ Vore

Junior Sam Rauter plays a computer game. Rauter is the President of the eSports club.

Lauren Fischer and Carter Fitzsimmons

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Forty five students gather in room 103 to plan their practice schedule and organize teams for competitions every Thursday after school. This group is the eSports Club, founded by a small group of students in September of this year.

“We’re all interested in video games and esports and so we just wanted to do something after school,” junior Sam Rauter said. “We thought it was a good idea so we can get more people involved within the school and it’s something we’re all passionate about.”

Within the club, there is a varsity, junior varsity and c-team, for the game League of Legends. There is one team for Counter Strike: Global Offensive due to a lack of players. League of Legends and Counter Strike: Global Offensive teams are a part of the High School Starleague, a national league backed by Twitch, an online game-streaming service. While many club members play on these teams, Rauter said some members elected to just spectate, and others are just in the club for fun.

One of the founders of the club, senior Jiaren Li said the varsity, junior varsity and c-teams were decided based on rankings, skill level and some at-home tryouts.

Rauter said the League of Legends and Counter Strike: Global Offensive teams have competitions, or matches, every week against other high school teams. These teams have clubs similar to the one at BVNW, and exist across the country, according to Rauter.

What these guys are doing is different because they’re making such a concerted effort to rank and keep themselves organized and to improve their skills.”

— Christa Wang

Li and Rauter both said they view video games as a sport, with pro-gamers having similar practice schedules and skill level as pro-athletes. According to the High School Starleague website, one of the organization’s goals is to promote esports as a positive experience, so one day it will be considered a sport just like the way basketball or baseball is viewed.

Club sponsor Christa Wang said the eSports Club students are very dedicated to the group.

“I think it is lazy to stay home and just play video games on your own time by yourself,” Wang said. “But what these guys are doing is different because they’re making such a concerted effort to rank and keep themselves organized and to improve their skills and to do something together through it, it’s not a sole hobby alone on the couch.”

Wang said eSports Club exists because the team coordinates to win and play well as a team.

“You have to organize your time between the games and the school,” Li said. “If you want to be good at the games you have to learn while you’re playing, [you] have to learn from your mistakes.”

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