Conifer Starts an Esports Team


Elijah Roeper

Elijah Roeper hitting the ball towards the net moments before a goal in a replay of a game on April 12th. Rocket League is a game of soccer with three cars and two teams. The goal of the game is to hit the ball in the center of the field into the opponents’ goal. The six total cars use boost and the terrain to their advantage shooting off walls or falling onto the ball from the ceiling to hit it into the opposing goal.

     “Setting up,” one of the team members says. The ball is directly in front of the goal. “Going for it,” another says. They drive up to the ball and hit it in. Conifer breaks the tie and wins the game.

     Conifer’s new Esports team has practice from 3 to 5 Monday through Thursday as the team works on perfecting new tricks and working more as a team. Though this is new to Conifer there are plans to continue with another season in the future.

     “I think it’s pretty fun,” team member Logan Tilly said. “We’re all working as a team.”

     The Esports team competes against other schools in Rocket League, a videogame that is based on soccer but with cars instead of players. This is the first time Conifer has had an Esports team. Though Friday through Sunday are not required practices the team still gets together to practice with one another to get better at the game.

     “We’re growing as a team, we’re failing as a team, we’re winning as a team,” Tilly said. “I think it’s fun to just be able to have people you can play video games with.”

     The competitions are run through PlayVS, which connects Conifer’s Esports team with other schools in the United States, some even in Canada. The two teams will join a private match and compete against each other for a best of five.

     “I just think it’s awesome that we have an Esports team here,” coach Gabriel Watson said. “I think what’s neat about Esports is that it’s a competition with yourself more so than other sports. I think the progress you make is more concrete, it’s more visible, whether you’re just moving from silver to gold, or performing certain moves constantly. It’s not easier but it’s more clear to see the things that you’re implementing, so on that level I’m very happy. The list for PlayVS is growing every year.”

     Esports is CHSAA affiliated. It began in the 2019-20 school year and is seen as a “competitive activity” by CHSAA. The currently available games are League of Legends and Rocket League. The schedules are managed through PlayVS which pairs Conifer against schools in the same time zone. The team is managed by Gabriel Watson and Sean Cartner.

     “We have made a lot of progress,” Dashun Hollist said. “The coaches gave a lot of tips and we have gotten very far in just a small amount of time.”