Xavier esports expands

The Rocket League team plays its first game of the season against Horizon High School. Although they lost, players overcame first-game jitters.

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The Rocket League team plays its first game of the season against Horizon High School. Although they lost, players overcame first-game jitters.

April Tanner, Staff Writer

With the fall sports season underway, esports begins its third official season at Xavier.

Xavier esports had its dry-run season during the 2017-2018 school year and started officially with the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) in 2018.  

According to Erika Peinado, Rocket League coach and director of information technology, there was an email sent out by the AIA about how they were looking into an esports program. “The first thing I did when I read that email- it wasn’t even cold yet from being sent I just ran down the hall and told Sister Lynn, ‘I will take the initiative and be a coach’,” said Peinado.

The team is relatively new compared to other sports. As a result, there has been increasing interest from students and more players have been added.  

Esports at Xavier is split into two teams that either play Rocket League or League of Legends. As the two teams play their games on separate days, Tuesdays and Thursdays, they normally do not compete against the same school. 

Xavier’s League of Legends has five of their twelve players compete against other high schools during their 5 v 5 games. League of Legends is a team-based game where players work together to break the enemy base before their opponent breaks theirs.

Xavier’s Rocket League has three of their six players compete against other high schools during their 3 v 3 games. Rocket League is a soccer-based game where two opposing teams use rocket-powered cars to hit a ball into their opponent’s goal to score points.

Both teams only play regionally and are the only all-female teams in the state. As esports is played virtually, the teams compete remotely against each other from their respective schools.

According to Peinado and Sanford Worth, League of Legends coach and director of information technology help desk, they hope to inspire confidence and create a place where their players can feel comfortable being themselves.

“That is kind of the beauty of esports in general: this is the only truly inclusive sport. We have players in this sport and in this community, not just here at Xavier, who are handicapped, disabled, who are from every different background and type of person, the entire spectrum and everything in between,” said Worth.

Joscelynn Perez Ramirez, junior and Rocket League captain, said it is “empowering” to be playing esports at Xavier.

Since the esports at Xavier is growing, this year a manager position opened up. Since filling the position, Sanford and Peinado are trying to have managers learn about the games so that they can stream games and announce what is going on.