MSMS esports triumph at State Championship


Tämän esikatselun koko, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Created just this year, the MSMS esports team was crowned as the state champions for League of Legends on Dec. 15.

Kate McElhinney, News Editor

After a very successful season being 10-6, the inaugural MSMS esports team won the state championship for League of Legends (LoL). The event occurred on Dec. 15 and consisted of eight teams in the playoff bracket, with MSMS defeating Vancleave High in the finals. 

League of Legends is a team-based arena and strategy game, in which teams must fight to both capture the opposing team’s nexus and protect their own. Normally, players would play on computers at their prospective schools, but this season students play on their own laptops or computers because of COVID-19 restrictions. 

Senior and esports team founder and captain Sam Hill described how the playoffs differed from the regular season.

“During the regular season, you play two games so even if the score is 1-1, the team with the most points wins,” Hill said. “However, the playoffs are played in a best of three elimination bracket. We were placed [as the] #3 seed after being 10-6.”

Before the match, the team felt some nerves about playing in the state championship match, but such feelings quickly dissipated after some encouraging words from senior Ayden Garcia.

“We all knew that the State Finals of PlayVS were always streamed to a live audience with commentators, so it was always a lingering thought that if someone messed up, it would be saved forever,” Hill said. “Before the game began, Ayden Garcia gave a speech with the national anthem playing in the background, which was absolutely hilarious and helped calm the team’s nerves.”

Senior Jack Standard expressed his enthusiasm for the results of both the championship and the season as a whole.

“The championship match went fairly well, although I did make a few mistakes early on in the first game,” Standard said. “I feel like the season went really well once we got some of the kinks worked out, scheduling wise. It was also nice to see the team’s growth after our loss against West Harrison and then soundly beating them in the semifinals.”

Students compete through PlayVS, a platform that creates leagues for varsity high school esports, as well as other college and amateur leagues. PlayVS is the only platform nationwide where students can play varsity-level esports recognized by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Junior Lucas Rader, who has played esports on a high school level for three years, discussed the skill of MSMS esports in comparison to his previous teams.

“This is my third year doing high school esports with PlayVS, and it was definitely the best one yet because this team is the only one that I have been on that has had a chance of winning,” Rader said. “The skill disparity in games is generally very high with one team usually stomping the other, and this year it felt like it was nearly always us who had the advantage in every game.”

Hill expressed his gratitude for the long-lasting memories the team made and the joy felt by the team after winning.

“The celebration at the end is one I will remember way past graduation. Everyone was yelling and screaming at the realization that there was no one in the state better than us.”