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CCS students enjoy esports league

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County Schools has joined school systems across the state in offering esports this year.

The virtual gaming competitions are under the guidance of the AHSAA as a fully-sanctioned high school sport. Three leagues are offered this year, each featuring a different game. The three leagues are League of Legends, Smite and Rocket League.

Rocket League teams from Verbena and Chilton County high schools competed in their first tournament on Feb. 28.

The teams beat opponents Spain Park and Handley high schools.

The CCS teams are led by Jay LeCroy and Jason Sosa at the LeCroy Career Technical Center.

“It gives the student who would not have normally played athletics but loves video gaming a chance to represent their school,” LeCroy said.

Getting the computers and games set up and ready for the tournament took awhile, and students were excited to get started.

“It is pretty much any person who plays video games dream to play competitively,” Rocket League team member Dalton Scarbrough of Verbena High School said. “(I wanted to) grab a group of friends and see if we can win a game.”

He said Rocket League is “a game about soccer with cars.”

“It seemed like a ton of fun,” Scarbrough said.

He said he had first played Rocket League a couple years ago.

The team prepared for the competition by playing the game together and working to improve their skills. Each team has three people.

Teammate Rowlan Brady of VHS said the team had been working on “seeing who is better at what position on the field and see who is going to be the position of goalie.”

Brady said he heard esports was being added to the Alabama school sports lineup and was glad CCS chose to offer it.

Smite team member Usiel Acosta of Chilton County High School said he plays video games a lot, including Smite.

“I was confident that we could win,” Acosta said.

Smite is a multiplayer online battle arena game. Acosta said there are five roles that players can choose.

“It’s about team playing and connecting with your team,” Acosta said.

Acosta’s team will compete for the first time this week.

“We practice every Monday and Friday from 3-5 p.m., sometimes 6 if we really need it,” Acosta said.

He said after one of his friends introduced him to the game, he started playing it daily.

Under the AHSAA guidelines, students can only be on a team for one game.