Downey vs Warren E-Sports Tournament

Sebastian Cornejo, Co-Business Manager

On Dec. 4th, Downey and Warren students competed against each other in LA County’s first ever high school Overwatch tournament at the Downey Theater. The program began because of DUSD superintendent Dr. John Garcia’s interest in the E-Sports subculture; this gives students a path to explore computer science and game design in the future. The event was open to the public and it was streamed on a streaming platform, Twitch. Parents, cheerleaders, students, and Viking Nation attended.


The members of Downey High’s team, The Super Troopers are as follows: Adam Bhuiyan, 12; Omar Aguilar, 12; Daniel Valdez, 12; Adrian Caballero, 11; Jose Cisneros, 12; Bryan Skorka, 12; and Michael Pasaye, 12.


Attending the event not knowing what to expect, Olivia Chavez, 12, explains how she felt at the event.


“I was really excited to come support my school,” Chavez said, “Even though I’m not really sure what is happening in the game.”


The game is team-based, so players choose their characters strategically. Each character in Overwatch falls under one of these categories: DPS (Damage per Second), healers, and tanks. DPS characters focus on damaging the other team and executing the kills. Healers keep the team alive and certain advantages. Tanks are the heavy characters with significantly more health and defensive abilities that help the team. These characters need each other to sustain and win the objective by using team strategy.


E-Sports gamer, Bryan Skorka, 12, played healer during the tournament and expressed his enjoyment of the experience after the competition.


“It was nice to take a hobby into something more serious,” Skorka said. “I think we were given a very unique opportunity that I will hope will continue to grow.”


There were autographs signings at the Tournament with three voice actors from Overwatch – Carolina Ravassa (Sombra), Feodor Chin (Zenyatta), and Paul Nakauchi (Hanzo).


Andie Perez, 12, watched the tournament online and is proud of what her school achieved.


“I’m proud of my school and the students involved,” Perez said.  “I’m glad that all students have opportunities and new pathways to follow through what they like to do.”


The prizes for the winning team include a tour of a Blizzard Entertainment Headquarter, a gaming accessory package worth $400 from Blizzard, 1 week of game design boot camp, Custom Jostens ring, a chance to receive 6 college credits in a Computer Science/Game Design class, and a trophy for the winning school.


In the end, the Warren E-Sports team won the tournament 3-1. Though the Vikings had a loss, history has been made by the creation of DUSD’s new program.