A different kind of gaming, a different kind of sport

Esports comes to Vandegrift


Sumerlyn Yudell

VHS Esports team display two of their trophies in the school’s trophy case.

Sumerlyn Yudell, Social Media

Sports are ordinarily perceived as a type of physical activity with loud crowds, high stakes and teams coming together to achieve one goal. And it generally revolves around a 3D ball. Esports holds the same concepts of high stakes and teamwork, and play teams across the nation. But it’s all done online.

Esports is a competitive online gaming club where players participate in a series of different gaming events, working together to complete one objective. Senior Josh Sharp started the team this year and acts as the club president. The club is sponsored by physics teacher Andrew Perrone and meets every Friday, but mostly meets the first four to five Fridays of the school year to register teams.

“We spend most of our meetings forming teams and registration,” Sharp said. “Throughout our season we don’t really have club meetings but we do have team meetings for players to work on strategy and stuff like that.”

There are about 1,000 high schools within the US that compete in the Esports league. Sharp was the first person to bring this club to Vandegrift, and even went as far as spreading the club to other high schools in Leander ISD.

“This organizations exists throughout the entire district,” Sharp said. “I’ve gone and spread them to every school in the Leander district. We’re hoping to take our organization to get to a point where it’s a legitimate club sport, like Lacrosse, where people are paying to be apart of this organization, competing and practicing on a more normal basis.”

The teams are open to all students. Everyone participates in the same league, but Vandegrift does not have a JV and Varsity league. The club instead creates a team of high level players and a team of lower level players.

“Getting to be on teams with people of all grades ninth-12th,” Sharp said. “It could be freshman and senior both playing on varsity, so it’s always exciting just getting to bring people together.”

Esports has three competitive seasons: fall, spring and winter. However, a player can’t qualify for the national competition during the winter season. It is just for practice. The online Esports national competition is a week in the summer. Competitors play every day of that week until they get eliminated. The prize pool is about 25,000 per player for first place.

“Esports is about having fun while playing video games, but at a competitive level,” sophomore team captain Hunter Ross said. “I’m sure Esports will grow over the years to come.”