Smash Bros

In our grandparent’s days, they would go outside to play sports. After the game, they would head over to their local convenience store, get a chocolate bar for a penny, and enjoy their day. Unfortunately, while candy bars are a lot more than a penny now, we carry on the tradition of playing sports, albeit more and more young people are opting to do it in front of their custom-built PC with three monster ultras in their system. Have you ever been interested in gaming, particularly sports? This is where the Esports Club comes in.

The Esports Club has been centered around enhancing the gaming community at Apopka High. “We started because of the community of gamers around the whole school,” said Senior Jack Vertus when asked what inspired him to start the club. He goes on to say that because of “the rise of Esports around the world, we would like to have that at Apopka High school and have opportunities for students to earn scholarships.” One thing about gaming clubs is that they tend to be male-dominated. Being a girl gamer, especially one into Esports with the stigma against girl gamers, it’s understandable why some would expect the club to be full to the brim with teenage boys. “When I first encountered the Esports team I was very hesitant, especially being a girl in a sea of boys, and not sure if it was something for me, but I decided to join anyway. As I continued to participate and play games I have come to enjoy the competition,” said Senior Veronica Velez, Vice President of the Esports club.

Even though Veronica said that there’s nothing directly that sets them apart from other clubs, I can name one thing in two words. Smash. Tournament. When asked why Full Sail had gaming setups in Darter territory, Jack said they held a Smash Tournament for those in the club to have a shot and essentially a full-ride scholarship to the university. Vice President Veronica further went into detail saying that based on the outcome of the tournament, only eight students would be picked for their Smash Bro invitational on April 30th, which would be the final tournament before they announce the winners of such a hefty scholarship.

Even though things have been going well for the club, tragedy struck when their sponsor left recently. As a result of this, club activities and negotiations like the Smash Bro event have fallen on the leaders. “Now having the sense of being the full force control of the club without a sponsor, especially since teachers have other ways to do things that students are not able to have, it has changed the direction of the club,” said Jack. Considering that they are both Seniors, this might be the end of a club with such a bright future. “I don’t know what is next for the Esports team, and I don’t know if there will be one next year,” said Veronica. She goes on to say that “I am glad to be a part of this new wave of high school Esports and I hope that it gets more attention in the future.