Port Clinton High School has created an E-Sports Club under the direction of teachers Bruno Bush and Taylor Freeman, and Kelly Croy, Director of Innovation and Instruction, helped spearhead the group by talking with other districts with E-sports teams, organizing Port Clinton’s advisors, and surveying students.
School officials had sent out notices to students who are gamers and were interested in joining the team. A total of 13 gamers responded, completing tryouts for the E-sports Club crew and to play Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. In November, the crew started practicing and unlocking characters on the games to help students use later in the year for the competitions.
Final team selections are being held to allow students to prepare for the upcoming E-Sports Club season in March.
“During a couple of months of practice, we’ve started to enhance our gamers’ ability in the game. They have exhibited more confidence, better game tactics, strategic thinking, and bonded as a team,” said E-sports Co-Advisor Taylor Freeman. “The future is bright for E-sports at Port Clinton, and I’m excited to see the program and students bloom into their full potential.”
Similar to a sports team and other extracurricular clubs, students gain skills in teamwork, problem solving, communication, building relationships, and confidence. With E-sports, students are not bound by geographic location. They can compete nationally or even internationally.
Competitions are coming up, but it is easy to social distance and there is no travel. The Port Clinton crew will compete in the Media Center against other teams in the E-sports Ohio League, which has teams all across the state. They will start by scrimmaging local schools, such as Tiffin Calvert, Tiffin Columbian and Norwalk.
E-sports provide numerous opportunities for students. Future benefits include tournament money, and with university e-sports there are potential scholarships available to student players. E-sports also pave the way to high-paying jobs.
According to the Ready E-Sports website, E-sports is quickly becoming a billion dollar industry. Most people think the only career in E-sports is professional gaming. In reality there are jobs in management, operations, sales, event planning and coaching, or as a travel agent or social media coordinator.
When asked why he wanted to bring E-Sports to PCHS, Co-Advisor Bruno Bush said: “It’s exciting to not only provide this alternative experience to students who have never participated in athletics before, including myself as a first-time coach, and to shine a light on this scene to the Port Clinton community.
“E-sports is a thriving and exciting field with some amazing minds competing to be the best. What better way to build team work, reaction time, and strategy building than through something these kids already love and spend hours with!”
The Port Clinton E-Sports Crew includes Captains Landon Staib and Robert Perez, Mark Phillips, Tyler Rodrigue-Hejhal, Seth Haynes, Nathan Lukac, Zavier Manning, Paul Patterson, Mason Waggoner, Chase Marlatt and Zaden Stokes. Learn more at http://bit.ly/PCHSe-sports.