GETTING IN THE GAME: LSA launches E-Sports Teams in 2020-2021
It was always the old adage that you shouldn't play video games while at school.
But in 2021, that has gone out the window and with the rise of e-sports on a global level, high schools have started creating their own teams and governing bodies, like TAPPS, have made it an official sport.
E-sports is here to stay and Lutheran South Academy has gone all-in.
"It's a new opportunity that we've never had before," Jaxon Crain said. "Not a lot of schools get this kind of opportunity. Gaming is something I've been doing for a long time. It's a big part of my life and I'm just glad I've been able to take it to school."
At LSA, walking down a hall past a row of lockers there is a door.
Once you open it and walk in, you hear the humming of an army of computers lined up against the walk, multicolor lit keyboards, custom gaming chairs and the sounds of players playing League of Legends, Rocket League, SMITE, Fortnite or Overwatch.
"It's been just getting to know the kids, I've never had that relationship with students because I work in IT," LSA e-sports coach Jon Maxwell said. "I love playing games and helping them out it's great."
The other advantage of e-sports is for those who can't physically play a traditional sport, like football or basketball, it gives them a team to join.
Chris Williams has a condition which has prevented him from playing traditional sports.
Williams, who uses a pair of adjustable forearm walkers to help him walk, has enjoyed the fact that LSA has added a sport he can play and be a part of a team.
"I find it fun because I can't play other sports," Williams said. "This is something that I can be involved with in the school. I find it pretty fun, it's like a brotherhood type of deal.
"It's something you can add to your resume for college."
When the LSA e-sports program started there was just one team in the 2019-2020 campaign. This past year, the program has grown to host five to six teams and continues to pick up steam.
"We all play at our homes and being able to be here with them and play with them here is a totally different experience and a whole lot more fun," Crain said.