Esports levels up: Not just for noobs

Esports prepare for their next competition playing Overwatch February through March

Stephen Zownorega

Esports prepare for their next competition playing “Overwatch” February through March

Anthony Addante, Copy Editor

In the past decade, esports has ballooned in popularity. Grassroots tournaments and clubs have started to pop up at all levels of competition, and DGS officially created an Esports club last year.

Club sponsor and Physics teacher Stephen Zownorega, spoke on the formation of the club.

“We’ve rebranded as the esports club. About six years ago we started as a Super Smash Bros. club, and we’ve held that title for the last five years until last year. We participated in the Illinois High school Esports Association, (IHSEA) and they had a tournament for Smash Brothers.”

This was the beginning of the foray into Esports. Zownoerga elaborated on how they found this thriving community.

“After we participated in it, we gaged that they also played four other games. Valorant, Overwatch, Rocket League and Fortnite. Which then we rebranded to give students the opportunity to play those games,” Zownorega said.

Esports allows students to participate in some unique activities. Junior Carson Kass spoke about how he was able to get into broadcasting.

“I got into sports broadcasting. Through IHSEA, Illinois’ top high school Esports league, I got to cast featured streams every Tuesday and Thursday. It was really cool and [it’s] helping me further what I want to do. The overall highlight was getting to broadcast the in-person LAN final for Valorant,” Kass said.

Esports has also been a unique way for students to interact with one another. Junior Krish Patel spoke about one such instance.

“We were in the Fortnite season, and I think I had three kills back to back [to back]. We were all getting shot by different teams, and different players. It was a good opportunity because we were all communicating,” Patel said.

The team has already found success in a team shooter game called Valorant. For Zownorega, that’s his biggest highlight so far.

“Our biggest highlight right now is that our Valorant varsity team placed 4th out of 66 teams in the season play for the IHSEA,” Zownorega said.