Communities at IHS

January 25, 2021

With the recent addition of esports to the CIF’s sports in 2019, the inclusivity supports a more diverse student body to participate in team sports. From hobbyist gamers to those ready to pursue a career in esports, these opportunities are adding to the already growing communities at Irvine High, including clubs like IHS Esports and Smash Club. 

PlayVS will be the official esports provider for CIF, hosting games including League of Legends, Rocket League and FIFA 21. Though IHS doesn’t have a team yet, students are looking forward to competing officially. 

“I’d be looking forward to competing in tournaments once we have an official team, since colleges extend greater recognition to school teams,” president of IHS Esports club and sophomore David Culicar said. “Since [IHS esports is] only a club, we can’t compete in many tournaments. The prospect to make it official and get parent and school support in esports is what I’m most excited about.”

High schoolers like Culicar are using a platform of competitive esports to earn scholarships and money. Sophomore Kirk Collado, who plays competitively, has won around $2.2k in Aim Lab tournaments. 

“If you want to play competitively, you need to love the game you’re playing. There’s a lot of pressure in the team environment,” sophomore Kirk Collado said. “But the most rewarding aspect is that you’ll do well over time. Eventually, you’ll win at some point with all the time and work spent, and it’ll strengthen you mentally.” 

The esports communities formed at Irvine High welcome new and experienced players.

“Esports is very easy to start, and I’m sure anyone will find people to play with, especially at Irvine High,” junior Joshua Choi said. “Sometimes it might seem like there aren’t many gamers, but there’s so many people who play games and a super friendly community at school.” 

The benefits of connecting with friends through video games are increasingly obvious with the stay-at-home orders. Last November, ASB hosted a League of Legends tournament, and in December, Student Forum and ASB helped students connect through Among Us zoom rooms. 

“I wanted to host [the League of Legends tournament] because we wanted there to be more representation and activities for a greater number of people,” junior class president Shrey Gupta said. “Since not everyone likes the same thing, we could broaden our horizons and give more unique opportunities while utilizing online access to the internet.”

For more info, visit cif-ss esports update

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