Esports team reaches state

Players prepare for MNVL State Championship


Noah Leventhal

Esports coach Jake Utities talks to the team in preparation June 2. The team will be playing in the state finals June 4-5.

After making the Minnesota Varsity League State Championship for the second year in a row, sophomore Oliver Salita said he expects the team to place better than they did in last year’s tournament.

“I believe our team has been working really hard. We have been doing a lot of practice and we’ve been working on our strategies, especially since last state,” Salita said. “We got second place last year and this time I think we can take first.”

Sophomore and captain Ellie Sharon said the team has been practicing relentlessly in recent weeks in order to get the best results at state.

“We’ve been practicing every single week, at least five hours a week in the past couple of weeks,” Sharon said. “We’ve been trying to get up early in the morning, we’ve been trying to get some drills in, and we’ve been trying to scrimmage some other teams.

Coach Jake Utities said gaming together and keeping in touch is key to the team’s comradery.

“I encourage bonding through something that we’re all very passionate about, and that’s gaming. We play video games together and we become friends,” Utities said. “We’re all friends here. And we all like to geek out over nerd culture. We all like to share memes and we all and typically they all like to make fun of me which is just fine and dandy.” 

According to Salita, one of the team’s strengths is improving and adapting after losses.

“When we lose a game we can understand and learn from it,” Salita said. “We can help each other learn and grow as a team and that’s how I think we’re going to win.”

Utities said everyone on eSports is accepted with open arms as soon as they walk through the door.

“Some of the things that are important that we do here is we set a precedent that you make everybody who is in the room feel welcome,” Utities said. “Nobody gets made fun of at eSports and nobody gets put down.”