Swanton High School English teacher Jeffrey Dojcsak held an after-school meeting on Wednesday to inform students of the current state of the esports program being developed at SHS.
Since the idea was first brought to him by two of his students and he took the idea to the Board of Education, news of it has spread rapidly throughout the school, gaining the support of many students and faculty members. As the movement has continued to build, however, it appears that those involved have more questions than anything.
At this meeting, many of those questions were finally answered, as Dojcsak, and SHS librarian David LaBonte shed light on the previously unknown details.
There is a room in the school that has now been designated to the esports team, where they can practice and prepare for the future. The gaming station is already set up and ready to go once all the needed equipment is available.
Dojcsak also informed students that “There are plenty of grants available online,” that could help the team fund equipment and anything else they may need. LaBonte made it clear that they are aiming to provide members with good quality items, stating, “We’re not going on the cheap.”
As of right now, the program will function more like a club activity than a sport. The team is hoping, however, to have it recognized as such as soon as possible. Dojcsak mentioned that while it has not yet been approved, they do not necessarily need to be approved in order to begin.
There are over 50 schools in the state of Ohio that have recently began developing their own league. Most of them consider esports an athletic activity, with several colleges, such as Lourdes University and Ohio State University, offering athletic scholarships.
There are many nearby high schools participating, that Swanton will compete against. These schools include Bedford, Otsego, Ottawa Hills, Bluffton, Fremont, Genoa, Findlay, and others.
The team will be competing in four games, League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League and Super Smash Bros Ultimate. The program will operate much like sport. There will be tryouts held, in order for students to join the team, and each game will have both a varsity and junior varsity team. One team captain will also be appointed to each game.
Dojcsak attended the first coaches meeting last month. They discussed how the league will function, but admitted that many details have not yet been ironed out, as the earliest members of the league began development of their teams not more than three months ago.
“This all started in January,” Dojcsak said. He also mentioned that things like how the bracket will work have not even been confirmed yet.
LaBonte and Dojcsak will be acting as coaches, but assured students that a lot of power will also reside in the team captains, and other members. The goal is for students to have to work as a team, and learn to function together in a progressive way.
“They picked these games specifically because they are team games,” Dojcsak informed the students.
Dojcsak is optimistic that the team will be able to begin competing next school year, encouraging students to “Tell your friends,” and “start practicing.”