Esports: Rated E for Everyone


Emily Mai

Sean McCormick (left) and Andrew Barrantes (right), juniors, are co-founders of OHS' Esports club.

Emily Mai, Staff Writer

There’s a new club on the rise on campus. Starting its humble beginning last spring with around 18 members, following club rush, the Esports club has grown to a whopping 100 active members. Current co-presidents and founders, Andrew Barrantes and Sean McCormick, juniors, were ecstatic about their booth’s popularity at club rush.

“Club rush was phenomenal… we were not ready for that [many people]. We were expecting maybe 30-40 people to sign up, and that was a really good number in our opinion, so when we had over 180 sign up, we were shocked… it was really cool to see how the club grew tenfold, it was insane,” McCormick said.

Esports itself is by definition electronical sports. In the club, members play video games competitively for cash prizes. In recent years, the club has started becoming recognized as a sport by the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA). Just like any other recognized sport, scholarships and scouting from colleges are becoming increasingly available.

“You can get scholarship money from the leagues now, too, it’s a lot of good opportunities with room to grow,” McCormick said.

What started as a couple of friends playing video games together has transformed into a new movement towards widespread competitive gaming.

“Last year, Sean and I both wanted to play video games in a competitive setting, so we looked [into it] and there was a third party league already out there; all we had to do was start a club, sign up, and we got a couple of our friends together …[now] we’ve really expanded from those humble beginnings,” Barrantes said.

The club has had to make several changes to adapt to the influx of new members. The club primarily connects via an online server and has opened its doors to new games, including Rocket League, Overwatch, and League of Legends. For the first meeting, two extra classrooms had to be procured to accommodate the size of the club.

“We had really good attendance our first meeting. We talked about some of the rules of the club, how the games are organized, and got people acquainted to what we were trying to do. It’s a really fun club and a really big community… if you’re interested in joining, contact our advisor Mr. Anderson… it’s never too late,” McCormick said.