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Cherry Creek and Grandview bring home eSports championships

CCHS and GHS eSports logosThe Cherry Creek and Grandview high school eSports teams took top honors in the eSport event championships held April 28 and 30 at the Localhost Gaming and eSports Center in Lakewood. The Bruins won the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Championship while the Wolves won the League of Legends Championship. Eaglecrest and Cherokee Trail also had teams participating, the Raptors in the Super Smash Bros. and the Cougars in League of Legends categories.

eSports is defined as, “Competitive computer gaming where two sides compete, sometimes in front of an audience, where there is a declared winner, not unlike most high school athletic competition.”

CCHS eSports state champsFor the Bruins, the championship match came down to the Creek Smash team and ThunderRidge Green with Creek taking the finale 2-1. Seniors Luke Russel, Arin Singh, Ray Camp and Ben White emerged victorious.

“It was so much fun on Thursday,” said Creek eSports Coach Alex Bak. “The games were really high energy, a lot of people came to watch including parents and other schools that had competed earlier. This team is all seniors, so they are all graduating, so it was a nice way for them to finish their time at Creek.”

The 32-team tournament began on April 20 and culminated with the final 16 on April 28. A full day of competition ensued, with Creek Smash coming out on top. Coach Bak says the momentum has been building for the Bruins.

“eSports is really mostly about communication and strategy and teamwork, so these kids have to communicate well with each other and think alike,” she said. “After a whole season of playing together they really start to know each other’s game-play strategies pretty well.”

Get more information about the competition here.

GHS eSports state champsThe Grandview eSports team of seniors Lucas Fiedler, Sean Kim, Dillon Pham, Josiah Gonzalez and juniors Jacob Weir and Ryan Tran won their League of Legends title over Cherry Creek.

It was great to beat a district rival,” said Grandview eSports Head Coach Carlos Nevares. “Even though a lot of our competitions are remote, the kids still want to foster that teamwork and cooperation that are part of traditional sports.”

The Grandview Legend team bested 16 other high schools that started playoff competition on April 20. Coach Nevares said eSports is providing Colorado high school students with another chance to participate.

“eSports is still more of a new thing,” he said. “It’s giving students who may not be into traditional sports, may not play an instrument, who are still finding their way in a high school setting. This is just a great opportunity to further expand after-school activities to a larger portion of the student body, and to have them showcase their skills in a different way.”

Wolfpack Legends Coach Navares added that eSports has parallels to traditional athletic participation.

“Even though a lot of our competitions are remote, the kids still want to foster that teamwork and cooperation that are part of traditional sports.”

The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) established eSports as a pilot program three years ago and will fully sanction the activity starting in 2023.

“It is such great news because it legitimizes something these kids have been working on for a really long time,” Creek Coach Bak said. “A lot of these kids are very, very technically skilled. We’ve had kids in the eSports program at Creek get college scholarships for gaming. It’s something that is really expanding. The eSports industry is growing extremely quickly. A lot of colleges are starting to recruit for eSports.”

Congratulations to the Cherry Creek and Grandview eSports state champs!

Posted 5/4/2022.