eSports finds its place at LHS

The eSports business has grossed over 1.3 billion dollars in its lifetime. With games sweeping the globe left and right, people are obviously becoming more interested in the social and competitive scene. eSports has recently started taking its place in high schools across America, including Lincoln High. This is Lincoln High’s second year doing eSports, but it feels brand new. 

eSports is a great club that welcomes so many different people. For example, last year the club had 1 woman varsity captain, and 2 captains who are gender non-conforming, out of 5 captains! 

The club provides a place for students that just want to play video games with their friends, or find new friends with a common interest. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not just a “sit-down-and-play-games” type of club, but thats what it started out as.

LHS eSports had a rough start, becoming initiated as a club in late September of 2020. Not only was this one of COVID-19’s peaks, but the team also suffered from a lack of a coach. Chris Watson, a music teacher at LHS, was the coach and manager of the eSports team for about a month, before taking a job opportunity at UNL. The club felt very casual, and it left the team with no coach, and no teams because of their late start.

Students began to step into coach and manager roles, but it wasn’t allowed by regulations so it fell flat soon enough. The club started out with 6 games. Smash Bros., Hearthstone, Overwatch, Smite, Rocket League, and Mario Kart. Many of these games got a rough start because of when eSports began, in the middle of the semester, meaning they didn’t get to compete in many tournaments.

However, by the time the second semester rolled around, it became incredibly competitive. With Overwatch winning a second-place title, and Smite winning second place at state championships, with only a couple weeks of practice.

In its first year, eSports club had a total of around 15 dedicated players. Already in the second year, that number has already doubled. With over half of those players taking part in the Smash Bros. section of club, eSports is definitely looking up at Lincoln High.

The NSESA, Nebraska eSports Association, took many of the popular games out of play and tournaments, leaving only 3 games to be chosen from this year. League of Legends, Smash, and Rocket League are now the only games left.

With no first-person shooter game this year, club still lost a ton of loyal players from last year, such as the Overwatch players, who made up 80% of the club last year. Most of the state-championship winning Smite team moved onto LOL, with much grudge. However the FPS players did take a small W by welcoming a new coach, specifically to help with the FPS games.

This year, Coach West will be accompanying Coach Khan to help with wrangling the players. Amir Khan has been with the club since the very beginning, being a super supportive and nice coach for the teams. Being a specialist in Smash, he struggled a bit to be an in-depth coach for the very popular FPS category last year, which brings in Coach West.

Many of the players are very excited for more in-depth training and coaching, which is much needed. Hoping with new coaches for the eSports team to succeed even further this year, especially with the new and improved Smash roster this year.