Just recently, Harvard-Westlake’s brand new competitive eSports team reached an important milestone. The team of 10 students, consisting primarily of Seniors, all joined together at a student’s house to set up their computers, and the five starters (Dorjee Wangdi ‘18, Andrew Hong ‘18, Max Mingst ‘18. Michael Wang ‘18, and Brandon Porter ‘18) competed in and won the first match of the season.
This marks an important event for Harvard-Westlake, as it is the schools first venture into supporting and sponsoring a successful competitive eSports team. The school’s initial reluctance to sponsor the team came from doubts about how competitive the team would be, as well as whether the students could self-organize and monitor their professional activities. With this win, these doubts are solidly dispelled, and project a bright future for continued eSports activity at Harvard-Westlake.
The team competed in the HSSL (High School Star League), a national league hosting matches of the game League of Legends. For those unfamiliar with League of Legends, the basics of the game are that two teams of five square off against each other to try and destroy the other team’s base, also called the nexus. Each game lasts approximately 35-45 minutes, and excelling in League of Legends requires a high degree of skill and coordination.
As the competitions happen online, teams can compete with other teams from across the country, opening up a much larger pool of competitors than any physical sport could host. The first match, for example, was played against a school from northern California. All games excluding playoff matches occur in a two-game format, where two games are played and ties are possible. In their first match, Harvard-Westlake’s team was able to make a clean sweep during the two game faceoff. Michael Wang ‘18, the teams ‘support’ in game, stated about the win, “I think what it really came down to was synergy. We would already always play League together on the weekends as an informal team, so we were able to easily apply our same playstyle and cooperation to the competitive scene.”
The team will continue to compete in competitions every Saturday, with the hopes of eventually reaching the playoffs.