KEYC - High School Students Build An e-Sports Team

High School Students Build An e-Sports Team

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ST. PETER, MINN. -

Tuesday and Thursday nights after school, the back corner of a classroom at St. Peter High School fills with action that can get a little intense.

Sophomore Mikinley Prafke said, "We played Benilde St. Margaret, and we won, but the last play, once we won, it was very close. I swear you could hear us from all the way down the other side of the school yelling because we were so excited."

It's part of the school's newest sport.

This e–sport club began last year, driven by some misfortune and a lot of passion.

Prafke said, "Last year, while in ninth grade, I got a concussion while in soccer during fall, and I just kept playing video games like I do normally, but I started getting more of competitive video games and then I kind of thought it be nice to have my own team with my friends."

Sophomore Mikinley Prafke took that idea to the school's administration.

After meetings and determining the shape of the club, finding an adviser, fundraising, gaining interest and members and help from the IT Department with some computers, the e–Saints were born.

E-Saints adviser Aaron Dimock said, "Mikinley, putting this together and coming up with this idea and then not ever letting it go was what really got the club started. He's been really the driving force behind it."

About ten students make up the e–Saints team, and when they meet twice a week, the focus turns from school to the challenge before them, League of Legends.

Prafke said, "The objective is to destroy the other teams' base, so it just involves teamwork, and it's like a chess match."

While this sport is mostly stationary, there is plenty to learn to form a winning team.

Freshman Jaden Neubauer said, "Some days we talk about strategies and go over video replays of what we've done. Other days we just practice going through what would be just normal games with other players online."

Working on skills that are important to success in this virtual arena.

Freshman Aidan Anderson said, "Teamwork is really important in this game because without it you'd kind of be done for. You wouldn't get nearly as much or as far without a team to talk with."

But one challenge facing the e–Saints is competition, with only a few schools having e–sports clubs.

In the meantime, it means a place for these students go and be themselves.

Prafke said, "Gone off the normal path and started something kind of that the people behind me can enjoy doing, and a little bit hoping that someday, gets more traction and more schools have it, and it becomes a sport in the eye of the Minnesota State High School League."

And at the end of the day, it's a place to help those awkward high school years feel a little less awkward.

Dimock said, "Students that aren't as socially engaged with the rest of the school and don't have a lot of other things that they are involved with that are part of the school, actually get a chance to find that they're really successful in this kind of environment, and they got other peers and other friends that are also really involved and really engaged with this."

And showing that winning might not be everything, but it certainly does feel good, even in a video game created world.

--KEYC News 12