The North Mesquite High School Stallion Esports team recently competed in the national EGF (Electronic Gaming Foundation) and ranked in the top three of its division.
The team started its Esports league last year and was organized by previous Esports captain Eduardo Solorio. Solorio said he wanted a place for people who didn’t feel like they could be involved in the other school electives.
“Eduardo had this message about school spirit and how there were a lot of people who didn’t feel like they were part of our school community because the traditional sports and other clubs didn’t feel accessible to them,” Mesquite campus representative for Esports Victoria Wolverton said. “When he put the Esports club together, there was this mission statement of talking to the kids who felt they weren’t part of something and building that community and camaraderie and that friendship.”
In their first year, they were able to reach the nationals tier for the Rocket League competition. This year they were able to reach regionals with successful results in three divisions. The ECF high school teams who have overall scores in their division would receive a scholarship.
“I always had a passion for playing video games, and then I picked up rocket league. I was really into it and played on Xbox by myself and then recently met with the others,” North Mesquite High senior Angel Trujillo said. “We had a really good vibe and started playing together and got really good together.”
There were 20 other Esports teams that participated during the competition. The Rocket League A team ranked in the top three of their division with a record of 7-0. The Rocket League B team ranked in the top two of its division with a record of 8-1. The Overwatch team ranked in the top three of its playoff finals with three series wins and most recently a 3-0 win over a team from New York.
“It felt good, to be honest. Going in as rookies and going all the way to nationals with no one knowing who we were,” Trujillo said. “It’s the best place you can be if you don’t like to socialize with people in person and the best way to meet with people around the world. You get to experience different things with different people. You might meet your best friend, and Esports is something to be proud of, and it's a great accomplishment.”
During the pandemic, the Esports community grew together and supported each other. With it being an online format, it’s been easier for new people to get involved. ECF recently partnered with Walt Disney World to hold the first of five events at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Due to COVID-19, the event was held digitally and it is planned the next season will be in Orlando if it is safe.