By: Jo Rochelle
There are a lot of clubs here at Heritage High School, and there are always new ones being formed. One club that’s fairly new is the competitive gaming club. Co-founded by Tyler Cramer, club president, and Justin Meduri, data manager, the club provides a place for students to join teams and play video games, well, competitively. But there’s more to it than that.
Cramer and Meduri originally came up with idea a year-and-a-half ago. “The Game Art and Design Academy doesn’t have any part where we can actually play games,” Justin said. “It would create a way for students who like video games to be respected in an area where they can play them.” The club was formed around the beginning of this school year. Members were initially met with some skepticism–Justin explained that it was generally believed that the gamers just wanted a place to play with their buds. “That’s the misconception. Video games are part of the main industry of entertainment nowadays. We need to be respected, and we’re not.” He went on to add, “I like competitive games. They provide a challenge. I would rather–instead of being told that video games are interrupting my work for school–I would rather integrate it and have other students have the chance to integrate into their school life, so they’re not being nagged constantly by everyone. And it really has stopped.”
Currently, the competitive gaming club only has one competing team: the League of Legends team, coordinated by junior Sebastian Roman. “League of Legends is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game, so there’s certain levels of like complexity and competitiveness in the game,” Sebastian explained. “Our team is relatively good. All we do is practice–we wanna practice with other teams, play against other teams, and get better and advance in our brackets.” They compete in a high school competitive gaming tournament called Starleague. High school teams enter and are matched up in brackets for semester-long seasons. “You play for seven weeks, and after the seven weeks, depending on where you stand in your group, you’re ranked. We played in the Winter Tournament, and we were top 8 of 32. We don’t have any games coming up in the next few months, but we’re looking for another online tournament to practice.”
Tyler and Justin have a vision for the future of the competitive gaming club: to gain outside sponsorships and start up more diversified, competitive teams. According to Justin, “We have 5 games right now, and we want to fill out each of those teams. My vision is to have these teams compete regularly to have a system of how these things work.”
What about your future with the competitive gaming club? Follow them on Twitter @HHS_eSports for news and updates on competitions. Also, feel free to attend meetings every Friday from 2:30 to 3:30 in room 1613.