E-Sports at Downey High School

Alex Castillo, Copy Editor

With the sudden growth of professional video gaming, most top tier gaming organizations have begun to scout talented young players in high school leagues. This new era of professional gaming has been dubbed “E-Sports”.


Sergio Salas, 11, Anthony Casillas, 12, and Alex Sanchez, 11, are trying to take part in this rapidly expanding industry by creating an E-Sports club.


Sanchez, one of the creators of the club, worked with Salas to create this new club that focuses only on skilled, competitive gaming.


“What inspired me to make this club was realizing that Warren had a Smash Club and I thought of the idea to ask them to compete in a crew battle,” Sanchez said. “We don’t really click with the gamers club and we wanted to have a club dedicated to competitive gaming.”


Salas, who worked with Sanchez to start the club, plans to start at Downey High School but soon begin to expand the club to influence nearby schools to create their own teams and eventually create a league of gaming for the city of Downey.


“In regards to expanding the club we first hope we start the trend of having E-Sports Clubs at other schools in our nearby area so we can play their clubs as well,” Salas said. “The dream is to one day be considered just like a sport at Downey High School and have a league of our own just like our school sports.”


Casillas, a member of the club, finds the club to be an outlet for him and his friends from school work.


“The games I usually play are multiplayer games,” Casillas said. “ My friends and I usually get together every couple of weeks to have fun with each other and enjoy playing video games and just relax from our school life.”
Professional gaming shows no signs of stopping and is starting to be taken seriously as a real job. It is not uncommon to see top players rake in over $100,000 per year, and most big tournaments for professional teams have prizes of over $250,000. Just recently, ESL One, the biggest Counter Strike: Global Offensive tournament in the world, increased its prize pool from $250,000 in its 2015 tournament, to $1,000,000 in its 2016 tournament. With a club like this, Salas, Sanchez, and Casillas hope to bring a competitive community into Downey and possibly even create an internationally competing player.