Esports club at Hammonton High School
The world of esports is a new one, with electronics taking precedence over physical engagement needed in other sports. The esports gaming competitions focus on different electronic games that are competitive, such as Rocket League or Super Smash Bros. With a rapidly growing fan base for online gaming, Hammonton High School (HHS) jumped on the opportunity to bring the esports scene to Hammonton. The club, the HHS esports club, recently were invited to the Florida national championship organized by the Electronic Gaming Foundation. Guided by their coach, HHS teacher Ryan Entress, the team came in third in the Atlantic Conference of Electronic Gaming Federation for the game Rocket League.
Rocket League is an online competitive game, which features cars and a soccer ball. In the game, players have one goal in mind: hitting the soccer ball into the net with their vehicle While it may seem underwhelming to some, the game is fast paced and difficult in areas, as many players around the globe have come up with unique ways to win the game. According to ActivePlayer, a source online for the game, over six million players log onto the game every day, with a competitive focus in mind. Captain of the HHS esports club, Anthony Roselli, helped to form the club, and has a focus towards Rocket League in the club. He commented on how the game relates to the team, and how the esports club was founded.
“I’ve seen college teams play games, and I’m like ‘I wonder if there’s high school teams,’ so I looked it up and there it is. Saw some videos on social media of some high schools playing,” Roselli said.
After seeing there was a common interest in esports at the high school level, Roselli enlisted Entress to help bring the club to HHS. While he doesn’t have a personal relationship with Entress, Entress helped to bring the club to where it is now, which Roselli was grateful for. Roselli also touched on the game of Rocket League itself, and how the game is played with the team.
“We play from our own computers that we normally play on from our house,” Roselli said, which may seem odd to some. Practicing and playing a sport with a team in person is the way of the past, as esports allows for the team to practice and play directly from their homes.
Roselli added that the game is focused on team effort, and that he doesn’t see himself above his other teammates for being the captain or bringing the esports scene to Hammonton.
Roselli and the Rocket League esports team at HHS qualified for the national championship, which will be held in Florida. Roselli touched on how the team got to this point in their journey.
“We scored enough points in the bracket, so we collect high enough in the bracket to where we’re eligible to fly out to Florida and play for nationals against other teams,” Roselli said.
Qualifying for the national championship was no easy feat, as the team had to collectively gather enough points to move forward in their bracket, which would advance them to the championship. The team is excited to play in the championship, and looks forward to playing in Florida as well.