AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — eSports continues to rise in popularity and the Randall High School eSports team is getting in on the action.
“I’ve always been like it would be so cool to play in an eSports competition and now we’re in one,” said Grayson Thompson, Randall High School eSports Team Member.
As members of the Randall High School eSports team, Thompson and fellow teammate Jonathan Parker don’t just play for fun. They’re also practicing for weekly competitions.
“Student-athletes for eSports practice five days a week, six days a week, sometimes seven days a week. It does take a time commitment,” said Josh Wilson, Randall High School eSports Coach.
Wilson says they compete with other high schools through the High School eSports League.
“Every Thursday at 4 P.M. we’re put in a lobby that cues us up against other high schools in the nation. We play a best of five matches with different types of maps being played,” said Wilson.
So how does Wilson feel about the stigma surrounding eSports that it’s not actually a sport?
“eSports is absolutely a sport. It takes a lot of the same mental qualifications and skill sets needed. eSports fills up stadiums of thousands, tens of thousands of people. It has the thrill of excitement, the agony of defeat,” said Wilson.
Don’t think for a second that players can let their grades slip while competing on the team.
“Sorry, we’re going to have switch you out. We’re going to have to sub you out. You can’t play. It is a privilege to play on the team. It is not a right,” said Parker.
Also serving as the Randall High School Librarian, Wilson says seeing the improvements in the classroom and the friendships his players have formed has been special.
“These students put their skills to the test against other high schools not just in the Texas panhandle. We play teams across the nation and to be able to compete on a national scale has been very rewarding,” said Wilson.
Wilson says there’s an open invitation for Canyon High School students to join the team.
For those interested, all they have to do is call over to Randall High School and ask for Josh Wilson.