Stories » Cleminson Esports Sparks Passion and Friendship

Cleminson Esports Sparks Passion and Friendship

By: Jasmine Velazquez 
Esports is a shortened phrase for "electronic sports," often known as competitive gaming. Cleminson students, once scattered across various interests, have found common ground in the world of electronic gaming, particularly through the beloved Nintendo Switch console. Esports brings structure, teamwork, goals, and sportsmanship to students' current gaming interests. 
Under the guidance of passionate faculty advisor and school site tech Andy Hao, the Esports Club has become a hub of activity and enthusiasm. “My favorite part about the Esports Club is that it allows an alternative outlet for students to participate in a competitive and team environment outside of your regular traditional physical sports,” says Andy. 
The club's mission extends beyond mere entertainment; it fosters teamwork, strategic thinking, and sportsmanship among its members. “My future goal is not particularly with just my school. I hope that other schools in our district will adopt and form their own club, which will allow for intra-district competition between the school clubs. Then the students would be able to learn more about what it means to play on a team and represent something more than just themselves.” 
Through friendly competitions and collaborative gameplay, students not only enhance their gaming prowess but also develop essential life skills that will serve them well beyond the digital realm. 6th grader Maximiliano says, “We can learn to respect other people.” Through games and fun, respect for their peers is being practiced within the club atmosphere. Most of the current students are hoping to recruit more friends so they can all benefit from playing games together. Fellow 6th grader Cato shared, “It might help build bonds with members and improve hand-eye coordination.” The club's repertoire spans a variety of Switch games, from classic favorites like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. to lesser-known gems that challenge players to think outside the box. 
Regardless of the game at hand, one thing remains constant: the infectious energy and friendship that permeate the room. For the younger students, they have a choice of either playing Mario Kart or the Switch Sports games. The goal is to have them be familiar with the objectives and rules of the games as well as learn how to use equipment they normally do not use. Older students in 4th through 6th grade play a variety of games on the Switch as well as PCs. Students focus on particular games for a couple of weeks and then compete in mini-competitions between themselves.
Principal Carlos Salcedo shared his desire to see the club manifest at Cleminson, “For a couple of years now, I have been interested in starting this club to provide students with a space that not only cultivates important qualities like teamwork, communication, and strategy but also creates an inclusive space where students from diverse backgrounds can engage and excel.” He emphasizes how E-sports ties into academics by saying “Esports can enhance cognitive skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking and can benefit academic performance in subjects that require analytical thinking such as math and science.”
So, the next time you wander the halls of Cleminson, listen closely for the echoes of laughter and the click of controllers. You just might stumble upon the Esports Club, where students come together to play, compete, and forge friendships that will last a lifetime.