Esports Club: Gaming as a Team

Millie Gotsch, Staff Writer

Esports is a type of competition using all kinds of video games, featuring everyone from complete amateurs to full-time professionals. Tournaments have become a worldwide phenomenon as people strive to increase their skills. The Chamblee High School esports team, started about two years ago, has grown massively in popularity in the past few months.

“I joined the esports team to get a further understanding of how the esports community works, and what I would be doing. I was just looking forward to meeting a lot of new people who had similar interests,” said Aditya Rao (‘24), vice president of the esports club.

The esports club at Chamblee, while not strictly competitive, includes many activities, from tournaments to practice with friends.

“I think esports as a whole is going to get more popular. Almost everybody nowadays has grown up playing at least one game. So, you mean to tell me that now we can, like, get paid for that video game? It’s gonna grow to be something big,” says Rax Seay (‘25), a new member of the club.

Some members aren’t in the club just for the competition.

“It’s not so much for me about the competitive aspects, I’m just there to have a good time,” said Rao.

Andrew Hatcher (‘23), Game Captain of the Overwatch team, is working on bringing his team together.

“They seem to be getting along, and I don’t know some people, but there are some of my friends that are in there. And it is important for like when you’re having a team for everyone to get along, and we seem to,” said Hatcher. “I’m looking for my team to get better and work together better to improve altogether and have fun. Hopefully, my team is comfortable, and it seems like we kind of are, so we’ll be able to roll in a tournament.”

The club took a hit in membership when COVID began, but since school has been back in person, it has seen increased amounts of new students joining. Dylan Desimone (‘22), the new president of the team, mentioned how he pulled off the increased enrollment. 

“Yeah, so … we had issues with the Flipgrids, so we had to find another way to advertise. So, the entire team came together and we made these flyers. Someone had the genius idea of putting a QR code on it. We blew up from like 40 people to 110 in a week,” said Desimone. 

But could the team get too big? 

“It would be great if it grows. My biggest fear is that not enough people who are in it are actually gonna pay to keep it going. So the more the merrier, in that sense,” said Desimone. “I mean, honestly, my hopes are most of these people actually are involved enough where they’re participating in their own groups, paying the dues, they go to these competitions, they’re serious and committed to their teams.”

With the number of games nowadays, one may wonder what makes a game a good esport.

“Most of the games that I thought would be good esports were already there. The only thing that’s absent that I would think of that’s majorly popular right now is Minecraft, but it’s really hard to do that, it’s really hard to find a lead,” said Desimone.

The most important part of adding a game to the club’s roster is finding enough players.

“So we’re still open to a lot of things. The main thing that we need is to make sure that the team that we will be adding has enough interest because we don’t want a game for, say, two or three people,” said Rao.

Being a leader of the esports team isn’t an easy task.

“Some of my duties are making sure the club is running smoothly. We have something called game captains for each game. So my job is to make sure that game captains can communicate their needs effectively to me and the president. It’s just to make sure all the games and running smoothly, there are no issues,” said Rao.

Having to be active in a club and keeping up with schoolwork can be daunting.

“These first few weeks have been really busy for me, I think it’s gonna calm down after this interest meeting, but it’s really hard to tell from a work standpoint, to just be able to balance it,” said Desimone.

The social aspect of the club is one of its most important aspects to many of its members.

“I have a lot of friends in it, it’s pretty fun just to do as a fun activity to hang out and actually get motivated to go see people but we’re not going to be doing that many in-person meetings, so it’s mainly going to be on Discord,” said Desimone.

Being online allows members to easily communicate with each other and forge a sense of community.

“We have a Discord server, and right now we have about 140 members,” said Rao. “We have multiple text channels and voice channels where people can communicate with each other, get help if they’re struggling with a certain aspect of the game, or just in general, if you’re new to the game. They can also teach other people some cool tricks.”