The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

Love competition and video games?

Level up your gameplay with esports!
The South eSports team is ready to rock! To join, contact a sponsor, or stop by one of their meetings.

Anything can become a competition these days. Can you run faster than a friend? Who is better at playing basketball? Who eats the fastest? But what about competitive video games – at school? Seems too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, say goodbye to your doubts, and come by and join the South High eSports team!

South began its esports team in the fall of 2022. The acronym stands for electronic sports, or competitive video gaming. Special education math teacher and head coach Gabriel Mendez took the opportunity to help create and coach the team both last year and this year. According to coach and school physiologist Sofia Hof, the esports team is an opportunity for kids to do something they love and get the chance to compete at the same time.

Mendez said he was looking forward to aiding South’s Video Game Club but was informed that they did not need help this year; however, esports was searching for someone to sponsor its upcoming team. “I loved video games; that was my main thing,” he said. Although Mendez said he did not play many competitive games other than Halo, he learned to love the competitiveness and esports.

The current games available in the club are Overwatch 2, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Rocket League and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. League of Legends, 2K and Splatoon 3 are also available if a team can be formed, as well as Madden and 2K, but fundraising for an Xbox would need to be the first step.

There are multiple ways to sign up for esports. There are posters around the building with a QR code with the schedule of the current games for this season. Even if you are not in the season and just would like to watch, the group streams its games on YouTube! Look for them on YouTube as Omaha South eSports. Updates are also posted on the team’s Instagram page @ops_southesports.

Each season lasts around six weeks, with two weeks beforehand used as pre-season warmups and tryouts. During pre-season training, group members build team skills and chemistry between each other and learn about the games. “Don’t let not knowing how to play the game scare you from joining. There are lots of other people who don’t know and join the team!” said Hof.

All that is required to join the team are passing grades and not missing any classes on the days of a competition. A willingness to learn, working with other people and trying your best are also necessary. “We don’t expect kids to come in with pro-level skills on any of the games that they are interested in. In fact, even if you don’t have any experience with the games, that is not going to prevent you from finding a place on the esports team,” Mendez said.

The esports team meets Monday through Thursday. Mondays are mandatory practice days; Tuesdays are optional practice days, and competitions take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Practices run from 3:30 to 5 p.m., and competitions officially start at 4 p.m. and can end between 5 to 5:15, depending on how the matches go.

If you have any questions, you will find the coaches in Room 432 after school from Monday to Thursday, or you can email them at [email protected] or [email protected].

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David Garcia, Staff Writer
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