By: Peyton Lawson
I’ll be honest with you, I know close to nothing about online games or any of their implications. In my mind, the world of online games are filled with mystery, monsters, and quests. So, you can imagine that I was slightly intimidated to investigate Heritage High School’s very own League of Legends team.
To start my research, I first had to figure out what in the world League of Legends was. So, I talked to one of the team’s members, Elijah Numa. I learned that, to several students, the game is so much more than a game. League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games. It is played by over 100 million active users every single month, including Heritage High School students. League of Legends teams consist of five players, each with their own role in defeating the opposing team. The roles include a Top, Mid, Jungle, Support, and Bot. To make things a little easier to understand, Elijah explained the League of Legends positions in football terms, “The Mid is kinda like the Quarterback; he’s in the middle and can go anywhere on the map. The Mid also plays a significant role in leading the team. The Top would be the tight end; he’s a tank and can take the damage but also cause it. The Jungler is the O-line. This guy can be all around the map and is in charge of getting people in the correct lanes, getting things rolling. The other people on the bottom are Support and Bot. The Bot starts weak but grows strong and helps keep things moving, like a wide receiver. The Support doesn’t really have a great football equivalent. It would be like if their were a position in charge of helping and protecting a wide receiver, and only a wide receiver.” With a better understanding of the positions in the game I was able to discover who played behind the keys for each of these positions at Heritage.
Our Heritage team consists of the following. Bomed Pham (Current Top, from a high school in Tennessee), Sebastian Roman (Jungle), Jason Tron (Mid), Elijah Numa (Bot), and Julian Numa (Support). You may have noticed that there’s an outsider among those names; the League of Legends team lacked a qualified Top after former Top, David Xu, became the team’s Coach, so they invited a skilled Tennessee high school student to join the group of five.
This is a talented group. It was explained to me that they participate in two different leagues but care most about the High School Star League. Within their group, the team has gone undefeated and remains 14-0. They’re known as one of the top three high school teams in North America. The other League they participate in is called the Compete League, an amateur league, filled with mostly college teams. Despite being a high school team, Heritage holds its own in the league. After beating the number four seed in the playoffs, a comment was made that, “this high school team was out to steal the big guys’ lunch money.”
Elijah explains that there is a college level League of Legends. “NC State actually has one of the best teams in the South,” he notes. Elijah hopes to play there in the future, having had the opportunity to “sub-in” and play with their team in the past. He laughs, “Basically, in about two years, NC State’s team will just be old Heritage players.”
The future is bright for the Heritage High School League of Legends team and each of its players. Who knew we had such a talented team among us in the Husky halls?