E-sports team finds success at state tournament

Joseph Tobey-Cook, Entertainment Editor

   The high school’s E-sports team recently attended and won their first-ever tournament. They earned second in the state for the tenth seat. They accomplished this despite difficulties with getting together outside of school.

   Freshman Lincoln Kirchburg, a team member, said his main goal was to have fun and do the best he could. They started the tournament at 8:15 a.m. and played all the way to six in the afternoon.

Trophy awarded to the team after a win at the state tournament (Photo by: Lincoln Kirchberg)

   “We didn’t have much practice, but next year we can definitely win first,” said Kirchburg.

   Kirchburg joined the team when he first came to the high school and has loved it ever since. Kirchberg says the team has yet to come up with a name, but he assumes they will think of something next year. 

   Kirchburg hopes the team can try and do some online tournaments and get some practice in for the future, and Drew Clingerman agrees.  

Clingerman, a team member, said he did not get much training. He said they had played a season beforehand where they got a little experience before going to the state finals.

   “Honestly, I did not train much; other people would. Training can go from playing actual Valorant matches by yourself to going into a range and working on skills to improve your aim,” said Clingerman.

   He says he was not very involved in the team at the time due to other conflicts, but he just wanted to show up and see how far he and his team could go.

   Clingerman thinks that the team could do better regarding its mental capacity to play games.

   “We struggle with our capacity to play matches. We played a match or two and were cloaked out mentally,” said Clingerman.

   Clingerman does not know if he’ll be playing next year, but he hopes they can make it to the state finals again.

   Most of the team agreed that they needed more training time. Andrew Chmielewski said that their coach set up a few practices, and they would go over basic strategy and team play. However, he wished the team could have gone over more strategies. 

  His biggest issue was that most of the team members had a tight schedule, so preparation was complex. 

   “We focused on team play and utilizing our utility to outplay other team players. We chose this style because we were mostly blind going in and knew we were going to be the underdogs,” said Chmielewski. 

   Next year they plan to go as far, if not farther. Training more, finding new players, and even starting a second team will make a difference.