Esports round two: Valorant

As athletes return to the field, Irvine High’s esports team returns online for another year of competitive gaming. 

English teacher Ashleigh Frazer and Special Education teacher Tyler Tran currently coach League of Legends (LoL) for the esports team. The League of Legends team is composed of eight players: Senior and team captain Trieuvy Phan, Seniors Christian Miller, Daniel Kim, Darren Lee, Jared Duong, Andrew Nakao and Junior Ryan Chang and Freshman Justin Miller. 

“It’s been wonderful to see the team come together,” Coach Frazer said. “The players have really taken ownership of the team, making it their own. It has been amazing to see them play together.”

Currently, the LoL team has a record of 10-4 this season, ranking them in 22 out of the 115 teams competing teams in California. The team is registered under PlayVS to play competitively against other teams. PlayVS is a platform dedicated to making Esports a varsity sport. The team plays in a best-of-two format allowing the teams to accumulate as many wins as possible. 

“I like how open everyone is on the team,” Phan said. “Nobody is scared to speak out, whether it be in-game or at school. Hopefully, teams we play against will be more competitive as the season progresses, so far they’ve been pretty weak.”

With their current score, the LoL will be going to the playoffs, hosted by PlayVS, with one game this week. 

Last year the Irvine High LoL team placed sixth in the Pacific Coast League finals out of about 150 teams playing. Soon after, the team was given a chance to play in the Pacific Esports League, placing first in the playoff bracket.

The team officially joined the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Esports Initiative for LoL. Soon Irvine High will have its own Valorant team, and possibly with the re-emergence of Rocket League in the spring. 

This year the esports team is adding one more game, Valorant. Produced by the same company as League of Legends, Valorant is a first-person shooter game that consists of ten-player game where one team works to plant the spike and the other defuses it. 

“Valorants competitive scene seems to be growing rapidly,” Lee said. “I think its a great opportunity for students who want to explore their passion for the game. It only makes sense that one of the most popular games among students at our school is added to the roster. ” 

Coach Tran is organizing an inter-district league for each school’s Valorant teams to compete against one another. There are no finalized decisions yet, but the team hopes to incorporate Valorant as a playable game in the spring semester. 

“Esports at our school has definitely become more prominent as we have entered into CIF,” Senior Kim said. “For other schools, they have set-ups of gaming PCs and monitors on campus. It would be cool to see a room dedicated to esports be established.” 

For students who are interested in joining Irvine Esports reach out to coach Ashleigh Frazer ([email protected]), Tyler Tran ([email protected]), or scan the QR code down below.