Though Dalton High School Esports team is only in its first season as part of an official Georgia High School Association sport after a few years as a club activity, team members expect to win every match, no matter their opponent.
“They aren’t just playing (electronic sports) games, they are competing,” said Jesús Jacobo Martínez, Dalton High School Esports coach. “They take it very seriously. “
The CatastrophicGamers, a play on the high school’s nickname of Catamounts, received the “amazing amount” of $5,000 from a Dalton Education Foundation grant to upgrade equipment before its inaugural season as a GHSA-sanctioned sport, Jacobo said. The team members compete on Thursdays against high schools from around the state from inside a classroom at Dalton High School — unlike other high school sports, there’s no missed class time due to travel with Esports — outfitted with all the necessary tools of the trade, and they practice several times per week, as well.
“They order pizza, play music and practice” their craft, Jacobo said. “It’s a party.”
The Esports team accepts anyone who joins, but there’s a varsity squad, a junior varsity and several substitutes, said Jacobo, also an information technology teacher at the high school. “I kept 10 official squad players.”
The CatastrophicGamers opened their season officially last month, and the schedule continues through December, with playoffs held off-site in January, he said. As teams advance deeper into the postseason, “they’re all on a stage, and they look like rock stars.”
Each team can select one of three games to play in matches during their season — Rocket League, League of Legends and Smite — he said. They then compete against other teams who chose that game, and, based on experience and aptitude, Rocket League was an obvious choice for the CatastrophicGamer […]
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