Washington High School embraces growing industry

Published 4:53 pm Friday, May 12, 2023

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For The Washington Daily News

Washington High has its own Esports team to compete in video game contests against other schools. They competed against other high schools from around the country such as schools from California and Washington state. This will change next year. Head coach Will Tyson said “UNC Greensboro is administrating its own league for just North Carolina. This means we will compete against other high schools in the state.”

The team currently competes in games such as League of Legends and Rocket League. League of Legends is a game that consists of two teams of five players fighting with various characters. The goal is to destroy the enemy teams base. Rocket League is two teams of three cars that play soccer in a giant arena with a giant ball. Both games require lots of communication to have success. Assistant coach Sidney McCall said “It gets loud. When these guys are playing, they are playing with each other as a team and it gets intense. They will be yelling across the room about various enemies and different strategies. It is a true team atmosphere.”

The team practices in a school classroom that has been converted into a gaming room. Each student plays on a setup provided by the school. The setup consists of a monitor, keyboard, mouse, headset, and CPU. Tyson said each setup has some of the best technology for gaming. He said each one costs around $6,000. Tyson wants to continue building up the program.  “The chairs we have are not the best,” he said.  I want to get better, more comfortable chairs. I also want to repaint the tables to make them look nicer and get some better lighting for the room.” There are also extra tables in the room that Tyson would like removed.

He believes this program can provide a lot for the students beyond just being a sport. Tyson wants to incorporate the program into an educational course where the students learn more about the games they play. He said “I want these kids to understand how these games are made. I want to teach them how to use coding to make simple games for themselves. I think this can be a classroom-style program where the kids are engaged and learning something new.” Tyson teaches similar ideas in his computer science class.

 Tyson and McCall are confident that the program will increase in popularity and more students will join the team. With more students joining the team and with how popular Esports are in college, Tyson said “I would not be surprised if one of our students gets a scholarship to play in college within the next year.”