Game On! Westside High School Assembles New Esports Team


Courtesy of @EsportsWestside on Twitter

Esports team members practice playing “Rocket League” for an upcoming tournament.

Esports is a new extra-curricular at Westside High School where students work in teams and compete by playing video games, such as Rocket League and Overwatch.

Esports are becoming more popular around the world and some tournaments offer up to $100,000 to the winning team/player.

“Esports is the competitive form of video games and it ranges from different types of games, we have shooters and sports games,” Esports coach Chase Tonkinson said. “It’s just a competitive framework for video games.”

For about a year now, Westside has been building a facility for the esports players to practice and compete in. Sophomore Allison Burnett is trying out for the Westside esports team. She says that the new facility will assist players in getting to know each other, and being able to play in the first place.

“Without it, most of our players wouldn’t be able to have such good performance and proximity to teammates,” sophomore Allison Burnett said. “I expect our new facility to assist with team bonding and gameplay positively.”

Because of the new facility, teammates are able to compete in the same room at the same time. If they made nationals, they would still be able to play together and cheer each other on, but first they were required to try out.

“To prepare for tryouts, me and many other players are playing the game as much as possible in the most competitive scene available, competitive mode,” Burnett said. “Competitive mode is similar to what it would be like to play against other teams, and playing Competitive is also important to increase our skill ranking as a player so we have a better chance against other schools.”

With tryouts now completed, the esports team has already begun practicing for upcoming tournaments, even winning for multiple games at the Grand Island Northwest tournament.

Tonkinson said that he hopes his team will continue to elevate their performance and possibly win some more competitions.

“My goal is to get things off the ground and make sure everything is running smoothly. We would like to do well and maybe win in some of the tournaments we compete in,” Tonkinson said.