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Esports competes in tournaments

At the start of the 2021-2022 school year, IHSA (Illinois High School Sports Association) announced and debuted the first ever esports State Series throughout Illinois high schools. Now in 2024, Grayslake north has started to build a roster to join the IHSA esports series. So far, IHSA has crowned champions for NBA 2K, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros with many more competitive games to come.

“The list of games included for next year will be Valorant, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Super Smash Brothers, Rocket League, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ” said co-head coach Kyle Cook. “Different games are competed in different seasons, so some gamers will be able to compete in more than just one game.” 

In esports, students get to choose whether what season they want to play as esports goes year round, tournaments and games also go year round depending on the game the student plays. So far, the school only has a handful of students on the roster and are hoping for more gamers to check it out. 

“We practice 2-3 days every week after school, typically in E101, ” Cook said. “We are currently in the season to play Super Smash Brothers Ultimate but plan to expand to a lot more games come next fall as we are currently in our pilot season. We are also inviting anyone who would like to join us in E101 after school Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.”

In tournaments, students will get to face other teams from in the county or across Illinois to compete with. This usually does not take place on weekdays but more on weekends. 

“During this spring, we practice Monday and Tuesday and compete against other schools on Wednesdays,” Cook said. “Tournaments are not held as often as one might think, but everything that would take more than 1-2 hours is completed on the weekends. In the fall, the schedule will change slightly, where we will compete Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with a different competition game depending on the day. With that being said, we are looking for more players in the fall, and you can compete in another sport/club and still get the chance to compete for our esports team.”

“Tournaments vary based on the games we are competing in,” Cook said. “Some games are single elimination, some are doubles, and some are points based on performance over simply just beating your competitors.”

During the team’s season, players will mostly play in seasonal games but then will attempt to qualify for State by playing in Sectionals just like similar to track and field and wrestling. 

“Much like every other sport we have a season, in which we track our overall record,” Cook said. “Every athlete can compete at their local sectionals to qualify for the State series in their game of competition. The State series is held over one day at Northern Illinois University.”

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About the Contributor
Christian Filas
Christian Filas, Sports Editor
My name is Christian Filas. I am the sports editor for The Knight Times. I'm a Junior here at Grayslake North Highschool. I also play football, baseball, and basketball for the high school.

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