The Rise of High school Esports
By: Ben Steinberg, reporter
In the beginning of 2019, the WCTA game club began to host Super Smash Bros Ultimate tournaments in celebration of the release of the game by the coordination of Davis Cowles (gamertag: Davis Kong). The first tournament had 65 high school students solely from WCTA, but this is just the beginning of this journey for Davis Cowles.
In Davis’s senior year of high school (2019-2020) as his capstone project, he created the organization Silver States Esports (SSE) with the help of fellow WCTA students and members of the local esports community. The organization grew to support several more esports, like League of Legends, Valorant, Overwatch and to support over 35 CCSD schools and several private schools.
One major tournament for each individual major esport has occurred during the first semester, and SSE plans to have them occur again next semester because of their large success. At LEVEL UP EXPO 2020, Davis Kong worked with the organizers of the convention to give all SSE competitors the opportunity for free entry and to receive a letterman jacket for their Super Smash Bros Ultimate tournament. Angie Carmona, another WCTA alumni and Volunteer Coordinator and Secretary of SSE, commented that she was surprised “with how large Silver States Esports has grown in such a short period of time.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full gear, this has not stopped high school esports from continuing to grow. Unlike traditional sports, esports competitors do not have to be at certain places in person to be able to compete due to being able to use the internet. This situation has brought on challenges to SSE, but ultimately has let esports begin to shine over traditional sports. “The biggest issue with that is since these clubs are no longer in person, it’s harder to get people interested in events if they’re not physically there,” Davis Cowles said. Even with this roadblock, SSE and CEO Davis Cowles are planning to continue to grow the organization throughout the coming years.
WCTA students are ready to attend LEVEL UP EXPO’s 2020 Super Smash Bros Ultimate tournament.
Photo Credit: Ben Steinberg