Gaming Club forms online sports league

Sydney Fener

Science teacher Richard Vo, the sponsor of the Gaming Club, and several students have formed the school’s first esports team. The group has already begun competing in a league with other West Coast high schools using a website called PlayVS, an official online esports league.

Club competes in competitions

Vo said he hopes to help fulfill the goals of students who are passionate about gaming like Larry Lee ’20, who has been attempting to launch an esports team for the past few years.

“We now have seven people on the team, and they all play fairly regularly,” Vo said. “[On Feb. 25], they played their first official game against another school.”

The team primarily competes in League of Legends, a multiplayer game, in which participants are pitted against player-controlled or computer-generated “champions” in a virtual battle arena. The esports team gathers for a practice meet once a week.

Gaming Club member Nicholas Shapoff ’21 said he has enjoyed playing on the esports team thus far.

“The esports team has been a phenomenal experience,” Shapoff said. “Being able to compete with other high schools in League of Legends is new to all of us and very exciting. We are thankful for the opportunity to represent Harvard-Westlake in the growing field of esports.”

Future for the club discussed

Vo described the success of the industry, mentioning the the millions of people who tune into streams to watch their favorite competitors play against one another. The next front for this new form of sports is, naturally, high schools and colleges, he said.

“I don’t know if in the future [high school esports] will expand,” Vo said. “I think a lot of students hope it will. There are a lot of benefits to esports for students that really just want to find a place and want to find their niche and so I think this is a great way that they can do that.”

The esports team’s most recent competition was held yesterday in Chalmers 304.