De La Salle Collegiate students are joining the world of “Esports” this winter.
Esports, also known as electronic sports, is a form of competition using video games.
Participants use dedicated gaming computers or other devices, such as Nintendo Switches, to compete against each other, or against students at other schools in organized tournaments.
Dennis Parks, Associate Athletic Director, is in charge of the activity, which is being held in the repurposed area next to the DLS Cafeteria. Originally a classroom, the space was most recently used for the Christian Financial Credit Union (CFCU) branch within the school.
“There is an Esports league, the Michigan High School Esports Federation,” Parks said. According to Parks, hundreds of schools in Michigan participate. In the Detroit area, both U. of D. Jesuit and Catholic Central participate; Catholic Central won the Rocket League Championship in 2021
In addition to high school students competing against others, Parks notes that colleges and universities have added Esports as an activity, and several offer college scholarships in addition to degrees in esports development and management.
Parks said that the after-school activity will initially be offered as a club sport, in which students in the group compete against each other. He said that by spring, once students improve their skills, they will be ready to participate in leagues. “We’ll have a chance to figure out who is good at what.,” Parks explained.
“I’d like to take students over to Windsor to visit St. Clair College,” Parks said. “They have a strong program, and are completing a multi-million dollar facility that will be the largest one of its kind in North America.”
While there are several Esports games available, Parks said the initial grouping will include Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League, and Super Smash Brothers Unlimited.
Parks said the activity will be a great opportunity for students. “Kids have already played at home, on their own, but this way they will be in a space actually connecting face-to-face with other students, and competing as a team. It’s like running. You could run on your own, or run with a team - which is usually more fun.”
Interested students should contact Mr. Parks at email@example.com