Student gamers impress at eSports competition

DEATHMATCH%3A+Eli+Buerger+plays+League+of+Legends+at+the+eSports+competition.+He+is+a+member+of+the+eSports+club+and+helped+the+team+beat+Austin+High+36-1.+

Photo by: Carter Scruggs

DEATHMATCH: Eli Buerger plays League of Legends at the eSports competition. He is a member of the eSports club and helped the team beat Austin High 36-1.

Carter Scruggs, Reporter

The newly formed eSports club has attracted some attention. Acer, a company most commonly associated with their laptops that they make, has been organizing an event for local groups that meet and do things involving eSports.

“This is the first time that the school has ever had something to do eSports,” junior eSports Club president John Demopoulos said.

The Bowie eSports club and other students participating in eSports were invited to attend a competition for the first time.

“I have competed in small online tournaments, and I’m always looking for more competitive opportunities,” Demopoulos said. “Currently I have been on the grind streaming as a Twitch affiliate.”

The event is just one of many examples showing the current growth of eSports. With the growth of game streaming platforms like Twitch, competitive gaming is becoming increasingly accessible.

“I have been working with my teammates, trying to get them prepared,” Demopoulos said. “There is a lot of stress having to balance my hobby that I’m passionate about with school, tests, and school work.”

The majority of the other participants are part of eSports club, a club that meets in technology teacher and club sponsor Andrew Nourse’s room every Wednesday.

“For the first time, instead of sports teams like football or soccer, Acer is letting Bowie represent itself in something unique in eSports, it’s a big opportunity,” Demopolous said.

Principal Mark Robinson received the invitation from Acer and ultimately enabled the team to attend the event.

“I’m not surprised [in the club’s success] at all,” Robinson said. “I think we are competitive creatures, and it’s a very engaging thing that stimulates our real mind and competitive instinct.”

Other schools competing and attempting to push eSports to the next level include Austin High and LASA.

“I think that it’s an honor people I’ve known, in and out of eSports club, [are taking interest] because [it] is a chance for them to take it to the next step,” Demopoulos said.

There were 13 students that attended the Acer event, including junior Jack Vinson who competed in rocket league.

“I’m excited because I’m going to be able to test my ability to see if I can do this as a job or profession in the future,” Vinson said.

Vinson is considered a seasoned veteran of Rocket League as he is ranked as a grand champion.

“To prepare I’m refining my mechanics, and I’m going to play with my new teammates more,” Vinson said. “I’m also trying to teach my teammates better mechanics.”

He is part of the three-person team that will be competing in the rocket league competition for Bowie.

“I feel proud to represent Bowie because I’m proud [of] this area and this school,” Vinson said.

When Bowie arrived at the event, many students were extremely nervous, and some even said their hands were shaking.

“I was quite nervous,” Demopoulos said. “At some points upwards of 50 people were all watching us, [and] my hands were shaking.”

The only other team at the competition was Austin High School. In the event, Bowie swept the competition, winning 36-1 in League of Legends, and 10-0 in Rocket League.

Robinson supports the eSports club and hopes it will continue to grow in the future.

“I think there’s a lot [that] schools can gain as [eSports is] a growing field,” Robinson said. “It is our job to help students prepare for the future.”