The Madisonian

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The Madisonian

The Madisonian

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eSports Set to Begin at MCHS this Semester

Club status to lead to competition

There has been recent talk about the possibility of an eSports team emerging at Madison Consolidated High School, and many questions are wandering through student’s and staff’s minds about what this team could mean for the future of MCHS. Fellow Cub Reporter Alex Wang helped answer some of these questions in his video story addressing the topic in the fall. However, there has been new information about what this eSports team could entail.

Madison High School eSports team coach Ben Ratcliff and future Madison Junior High eSports team coach Justin Davis have provided insight by answering some of these questions. While some information is subject to change, here is what the two pioneering coaches have to say.

Via Gamerrable:Copyright (C) 2014 Santtu Pajukanta.

To start, both coaches have experience in eSports and gaming. Coach Ratcliff mentioned that he has “been a gamer since [he] was a little kid” and that he “used to play Overwatch [competitively] up to the high tiers,” with Overwatch being a game that has been looked at for consideration for the Madison eSports team. Coach Davis also has eSports experience, where he notes that “For several years now, I have been taking courses into technology … but I’ve also been dabbling into the live streaming [and] the competition side as well.”

Coach Davis and Coach Ratcliff also acknowledge that they have seen a passion for gaming among the students at MCHS and MJHS and that Coach Davis took the coaching opportunity knowing he could help out. At the same time, Coach Ratcliff got the chance from MCHS science teacher Emeka Koren, who was previously interviewed by Wang, and considered the coaching opportunity before offering it to Mr. Ratcliff.

The current plan is for the high school to start the eSports team this term or semester, while the junior high team will begin next school year. According to Coach Ratcliff, when the high school team forms, it will be given “club status,” meaning the high school will not be competing with other schools, and instead, it will just be a club where members can go and play these games with each other. Coach Davis added, “… we’re going to think about [plans related to the Junior High eSports team] over the summer and then create some plans, and within the first month or two, we’re going to push either an open meeting or some sort of form to gage the student interest [concerning the team].”

Esports
Convictus DOTA2 Tournament, Melbourne
via https://www.flickr.com/photos/jhlau/44440743600

Both coaches mention that desktops were purchased for the upcoming eSports teams and that these computers are high-end. Concerning the possible video games that the eSports teams will play, the following games are currently offered by the Indiana Esports Network (IEN) for both junior high and high school teams: Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Fortnite, Minecraft, and Rocket League, while these following games are being offered only for the high school teams: Valorant, Chess, Tetris, iRacing, League of Legends, and Overwatch 2.

Coach Davis is also teaching an elective class at the junior high where students will be “… [learning] different life skills that they can take into the workforce when they start working fields, show them the different fields they can go into, having the basic knowledge that video games create, and then a myriad of other skills that they can take with them.

Students interested in joining the eSports program at MCHS can contact Coach Ratcliff at [email protected] and Coach Davis at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Owen Schmidt, Staff Reporter
Owen Schmidt is a senior at Madison Consolidated High School. He is involved in theatre at the high school and some of his interests include music and video games. He chose journalism because it was always something he wanted to try and because he likes reading and watching journalism. He also thought it would be something that would be fun and something that could have positive impacts on the future for him. He is a bit camera shy but has done things involving cameras in the past, such as short films, so he knows how to use them fairly well.

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