After successful fall season, Esports teams ready for winter season

Following a successful fall season that saw two teams enter the playoffs, the regular winter season will kick off the week of Jan. 15. A meeting was held on Jan. 10 with interested players to determine the teams of each game. The winter season is more condensed than the fall season, and players will be competing in either Smash Brothers, APEX, Valorant or Rocket League, a smaller pool of games. 

The sign up deadline was Jan. 8, just before the preseason began. 

Smash Bros, APEX, Valorant and Rocket League are all team based fighting games. They are newly featured in the winter season, differing from those that were played in the fall. The main similarities between either season’s featured games is that all of them require large amounts of coordination within teams. Players will select a preferred game when they sign up and can begin talking with other people who have signed up to begin loosely forming teams in preparation for the preseason. 

During the regular season, players will attend practices in person at least to play at least two times a week at the Esports arena. During these practices players will work with teammates in person; however, due to the nature of Esports, a lot of work can be put in at home. People without access to a computer that can run their game of choice will still have access to the ones provided at in person practices, but it is recommended that players have access to some form of computer at home. 

During the Jan. 10 meeting, teams were created for each individual game. Each of these teams elected a team captain who will be the leader of the team in the game. At the beginning of each season, the new teams have the privilege of giving themselves a name, as well as designing their own team uniform that they will wear during competition. 

Ethan Hirchman and Aidan Blanchan are two winter Esports participants who helped propel their teams to a successful fall season. Both players saw a winning record on their respective teams, and while they wish the winter season players the best of luck, they will not be returning to play in the winter season. 

Esports coach Brian Unruh said he is excited to begin the winter season following a great fall season. During the fall season, 26 players played on eight different teams, which consisted of four or five people. Some players chose a single play option in games of chess or Smash Bros. The seven week regular season had the teams compete in a regional high school Esports league. At the end of the regular season, two teams made the playoffs, which saw them compete nationally against high school teams from across the country. When it was all said and done, the rocket league team ended up winning the Midwest Regional Championship, and team members Mason Hendricks, Eli Reichert, Dylan Bergmann are currently playing for a chance to compete in the national Rocket League Championship this summer. 

Brady Ramsden-Meier is a returning player from the fall season who has decided to continue playing in the winter Esports season. He will be returning to the same game that he played previously, Super Smash Bros Ultimate. This season he plans to continue improving on his playstyle and learn from some of the mistakes that were made in the fall season. Being a returning player, Ramsden-Meier will be taking more of a leadership role this season because of his status as a returning player, and he said he will try to be more communicative with his team this season. 

Going into the winter season, coach Unruh said he is happy to see new players entering the season for the first time, as well as returning players from the fall season ready to continue what has already been a great year.

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