New Sports in Town: E-Sports

Adrian Soto, Writer

With the interest of video game competition rising in Downey, students of both Downey and Warren High School are organising themselves to create the “First Inaugural Overwatch E-Sports Tournament.” As the name implies, Downey E-Sports will be dedicated to the first person shooter video game Overwatch (2016).


Dedicated fan and follower of video game tournaments, senior Jacob Ornelas, looks forward to the rising awareness of E-Sports at the high school level.  Advocating for the involvement of video games in high schools, Ornelas is happy to hear about the E-Sports announcement.


“I know that E-Sports has been growing a lot over the past three years, starting with CoD [Call of Duty] and CSGO [Counter Strike Global Offensive],” Ornelas stated. “I think it is a good thing; a lot of students have been wanting a professional gaming system organised at schools… something we [gamers] embrace is finally being recognized too.”


For now, the high school E-Sports teams are focused on Blizzard’s best selling competitive “hero” shooter, Overwatch.  Intriguing and sparking a lot of gamer involvement, Overwatch seemed like a safe bet for E-Sports to begin with.  E-Sports spans a great variety of different games from different genres, but Warren and Downey both are exclusively hosting Overwatch matches for E-Sports this fall.


Engineering student and avid video gamer, senior Eric Huber has been considering joining one of the E-Sports teams although he is on the fence of what E-Sports has to offer.


“I find it goofy honestly…but it has been something I wanted,” Huber said. “[Yet] it’s only one game…it should open up up to other games like League of Legends and CSGO.”


E-Sports initiates a new sport-like activity for an entirely new community at these Downey high schools.  Even though video game clubs have been formed for both of these schools, they did not have an organised standard of competition to the degree the E-Sports title implies.  With increase awareness of what this high school E-Sports is; more than just video game club students are interested in participating.


Over the years competitive video games have gained popularity at a massive scale, leading to the creation of tournaments named Electronic Sports or E-Sports.  Additionally, E-Sports has been gaining popularity at high schools in the East Coast for the past year which has inspired these West Coast students. This particular level of video game competition was the next step for the Downey schools that have placed robotic contests on the forefront of their competitions.


Yearning to sign up for one of the teams, junior Dylan Martin, feels ecstatic that E-Sports are happening for Downey and Warren.


“I think it is really good and cool,” Martin said. “I didn’t think school would be a place for it [Esports] but I find it really amazing that it is!”


Currently, both players with a team and single players are welcomed to join the E-Sports Overwatch teams from Sept. 26 to Oct. 5.   Six teams are planned per school and six matches for the teams throughout the fall with a championship scheduled on Dec. 4.  Waivers for students that are interested and parent consent forms will be available in Mr. Kraus’ room, A109 for DHS students, or Mr. Quintero’s room, S1for WHS students.  For more information, watch the E-Sports video or take a look at the Downey E-Sports website, and if you have any questions feel free to contact the E-Sports discord server.