E-Sports Opening Fall 2023

(Left: Senior Claire Stanczak learns from Mr. Ryan Denney in the computer lab. | Right: Junior Jakob Graham logs into the E-Sports Lab.)

Trojan E-Sports is here!

The long-awaited Electronic Sports Clubs are forming first at the high school, and will follow at NCMS. Organized competitive video gaming functions basically like traditional sports, but can be played virtually as well as traveling to/hosting on-site matches. NCHS follows the T (teen) rating requirements from the Indiana High School E-Sports Network (IHSEN), who is very strict on content.  Many games are restricted without blood or corpses, and focus primarily on strategy.

Ryan Denney, HS Business Teacher, started meeting by-weekly with a group of students who wished to hang-out after-school to play Super Smash Bros. (Super Smash Brothers pit multiple Nintendo characters against each other, using their unique abilities in battle.) Students took turns bringing snacks, and the events were highly attended; there were times there weren’t enough computers, and students would take turns playing together. The phenomenon grew into the Trojan E-Sports Club, and now, two years later, Denney has excitedly taken on the NCHS official E-Sports Club coaching position! He explained, “the high school is at the Pre-Season Club Level. In E-Sports, high school teams must compete in one year of Club, before they can participate at competitions in Varsity or JR. Varsity levels.” Once NCHS moves up into the Indiana E-Sports Network, the system will match the schools to their level of play. Tourney brackets will be decided in Varsity, and the upper divisions will travel.

Game installation in both the Middle and High School computer labs was finished the last week in September, and the HS Club will start practicing together after school on Thursdays in October. For months, the teens have been practicing virtually from home. Gamers may compete in their choice of Overwatch 2, Rocket League, Chess (Swiss Rules), Tetris, Fortnite, or Super Smash Bros. Organized into small groups of five or six, the students will make competitive teams to compete against other schools. Some students will play alone. Games like Chess and Fortnite are single-player games; winning boosts the overall group score, similar to gymnastic and track competitions.

In October, the Club will begin meeting during Trojan Connect Time (4th period) weekly.  Scrimmages are planned in the evenings for practice, and each (game) title will meet a different day of the week from 5:00-6:00 PM. Mr. Denney will announce dates for the first official match, and who NCHS will play after the teams are fully formed.