Lanier’s new esports team


Ashley Kenney

Esports In Play

Have you heard about Lanier’s Esports team? Esports, short for electronic sports, is now an official GHSA athletics program where teams compete in multiplayer video game competitions. I reached out to the Esports coach, Mr. Cate, to dig into the backstory of how Esports at Lanier High came to be and how we as a school conduct the team.
When asked about why Esports was started, he stated, “First, Esports is an excellent way of getting kids who wouldn’t normally get involved in traditional athletics plugged into extracurriculars that they are interested in. There are lots of benefits for students getting involved at school, and Esports is a great way of bringing more kids into the fold. Second, Esports is growing. It is a multibillion-dollar industry and is now recognized as an athletics program at universities and high schools all over the country and the world. There are scholarships and accolades available to Esports athletes, and we want to be part of this exciting movement in high school sports. Third, Esports may help increase student awareness and interest in STEM education and careers. As technology advances, it is increasingly more important that we prepare students interested in these fields. Esports is a great way to make technology fun and exciting, hopefully lighting a spark in students to seek opportunities in tech.”
Many people were involved in introducing this sport into our school. Mr. Reilly, the CDAT founder/tech teacher, and Ed Shaddox, the GCPS athletics director, are two people who made the biggest impact on making Esports at Lanier possible. Mr. Reilly educated the county on why the addition of this sport would benefit our school while Ed Shaddox made Esports an official option.
As of right now, our Esports program competes in Rocket League and League of Legends. Rocket League, in simple terms, is soccer with cars, while League of Legends is a strategy game where two teams go against each other to destroy each other’s base. This year, the fall season started 10/5 and ended 11/29 when the playoffs began. The state championship is on 12/16. The spring season starts 1/20 and goes through 6/30. Practices occur every week for one hour prior to scheduled matches. Matches for League of Legends are held on Tuesdays and Rocket League matches are held Thursdays. Lanier Esports competes against any school in Georgia enrolled in the season. Esports uses PlayVS, their virtual playing field, as their official GHSA host. PlayVS organizes all aspects of the season (matchmaking, scrimmaging, rosters, scheduling, tournaments, season start/end, etc).
This season, there are currently 14 players on the Esports roster. League of Legends consists of five players on the active roster and three on the sub roster. Rocket League consists of three players on the active roster and three on the sub roster. Currently, for this year, Rocket League’s captain is junior, Josh Jonathan, while League of Legends has two senior co-captains, Daniel Hsu and Noah Zapata.
Esports plays for both the spring and fall seasons. The cut-off date for the fall season sign-ups is usually around October and for the spring season, it is February. To communicate your interest in Esports you can talk to Mr.Cate in room 722. Esports is not only looking for players but is also looking for people who are interested in doing streams, photography, and social media for the team.