A Challenger Approaches

Competitive Esports Coming to West


Morgan Ware

Caleb McDaniel ‘23 and Zane Augustine ‘24 sit at monitors in the esports room by the library. Esports are a big deal in other countries, such as South Korea. According to Dearborn, entire stadiums have been sold out just to watch people play games.

Morgan Ware and Jimmy Hepler

Everyone loves sports! Football, basketball, volleyball, and…video games? This spring, a brand new Esports Team is coming to West, and students are pumped to join. Over fifty Falcons showed up to the first meeting!

Esports is competitive video gaming. Students practice their respective games, and then travel to tournaments held through the Iowa High School Esports Association. The games that are being planned for West’s esports team currently are: Smash Brothers: Ultimate, Rainbow 6 Siege, League of Legends, Overwatch 2, Rocket League, Minecraft, SMITE, and Mario Kart. Many of the games planned are rated mature, so those interested have even had to return permission slips signed by their parents to the coaches. 

Doyle Massey and Alex Dearborn are the two teachers coaching the new team. The first meeting was held early January, and Dearborn is excited to get actual practices going, and see students from all walks of life.

“I think [Massey and I] really bring two different elements. He’s more computer literate than I am. He relates to a lot of different kids and I relate to different kids and I think us together will make a reality cohesive and different environment,” Dearborn said. “Sports kids are wanting to play…and the robotics kids want to play so it’s going to be a very diverse group of students.” 

Although many people don’t think of video games as a commitment, the Esports Team is like any other sports team, complete with mandatory practices and meetings. 

Junior Zane Augustine plans to join the Esports Team. Luckily, he is already on  the Robotics Team, so he knows how to work hard for a goal. 

“I think I’m excited for the competitiveness. It’s something [I’ve] never really done before,” Augustine said. “It’ll be a fun new experience.”

Esports Teams have been sprouting up in schools all over the country, but just recently arrived at West. Falcons have been pushing for an Esports Team for a while now, realizing that esports are shifting into popularity. Many students have even received esports scholarships at certain colleges. Even senior Falcons, who may never see the light of an official high school esports competition, have been wanting this for a long time 

Senior Caleb McDaniel is looking to play Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and Minecraft with the team; even though it is only starting half way through his last year at West. 

“I’m glad that it’s here now, before I leave,” McDaniel said, adding that he has high hopes for the future of the team. “I’m sure people will keep it going. It’ll be a nice time and nice to see.”