eSports holds meeting in preparation for spring season

Gamers take pride in competition

Junior+Angel+Diaz+smiles+during+the+eSports+meeting+March+5.+According+to+coach+Jake+Utities%2C+the+meeting+was+in+preparation+for+the+eSports+spring+season.

Noah Orloff

Junior Angel Diaz smiles during the eSports meeting March 5. According to coach Jake Utities, the meeting was in preparation for the eSports spring season.

Gabriel Kaplan and Noah Orloff

Just like in athletic sports, eSports coach Jake Utities said the tenets of collaboration, perseverance and friendship are also key to eSports. 

“This program gives an opportunity for those that are typically not celebrated at the school to have that opportunity, to give them that ability to be proud of what they’re doing, to feel connected to the school, to want to get better grades so that they are eligible to play,” Utities said. “There’s countless benefits.”

According to Utities, eSports hosted an introductory meeting March 5 to kickoff the spring season during which Park competes on a national level

Senior and team captain Joseph Lindstrom said eSports empowers its players who otherwise are looked down on for their online hobby.

“I enjoy the fact that we can represent our community in a different way because people have always looked down on members in a gaming community,” Lindstrom said. “It’s just something that I enjoy showing to others that this is something bigger than what anyone else thinks it is.”

This program gives an opportunity for those that are typically not celebrated at the school to have that opportunity, to give them that ability to be proud of what they’re doing, to feel connected to the school, to want to get better grades so that they are eligible to play.”

— Jake Utites

Utites said the winter season — for Minnesotan teams only — will end with a championship 10 a.m.-6 p.m. March 14-15 at TCF Bank Stadium. Park will participate in three different games at the competition. 

“For the State league, it was just Super Smash Brothers, Overwatch and League of Legends,” Utities said.  

Sophomore Brandon Brito said he attended the meeting March 5 and joined eSports’ Overwatch team. 

“The meeting was the first one of the season and they told us what the team was about,” Brito said. “(They were) telling us what games there were and stuff like that.”

Utities said his goals for the spring season differ from team to team depending on experience level. 

“The younger teams, I’m going to look to develop them and get them used to competition, used to practice schedules and getting better, how to improve,” Utities said. “We’re also trying to of course make nationals with some of the more advanced teams, such as Overwatch.”

Utities said Park’s eSports program can lead to future possibilities in the gaming world.  

“If this is something that interests you, you can go a long way by being involved at St. Louis Park,” Utities said. 

eSports will meet March 19 after school, according to Lindstrom, it is not too late to join.