DSHS created its first ever competitive high school League Team this semester for students who wish to play League of Legends with their peers, competitively.

“League of Legends, specifically, is an online moba (multiplayer online battle arena),” Matt Simpson, team coach, said. “It’s a battle arena game. It’s teams of 5v5 to 3v3. You play competitively against other 5v5 or 3v3 teams. Stats are kept, there’s tournaments, [and] leagues that you can get into.”

League of Legends was released in 2009, and since then, competitive league teams have been popping up in high schools around the world.

“I like it because it’s really fun to talk with your friends for hours, and then the strategy aspect adds to the overall benefit,” junior Joshua King, team member, said.

Whether or not eSports should be considered sports has been a long debate. One issue involves the U.S. government can giving visas to foreign players for eSports. In 2013, the U.S. government recognized League of Legends Championship Series as a professional sport.

“The fact is that it is all mental; it’s not exactly a strength or physical thing,” junior Wyatt Camozzi, team member, said. “So, a lot of people are like, ‘Oh my god, that’s not a sport.’ You still have to put in the crucial hours that are painstakingly difficult. It’s more that sitting down and trying to play this game. If you’re a pro, you’re practicing for 16 hours a day sometimes and that’s actually a lot of mental strength.”

Because this is DSHS’ first time having a competitive high school League Team, there is some pressure to succeed.

“My hopes for the future of the league are, of course, improving, getting to rank 1, [and] getting the $15,000 scholarship for college. That would be good,” junior Jacob Duran, team member, said. “Of course, being undefeated this season is the goal, but it may not happen.”

Written by Tessa Stigler