New OPHS esports club 

The latest on the up and coming OPHS esports club

Disclaimer: I plan on participating in the esports club and possibly running for office within the club. However,  I wrote this article solely for the purpose of providing unbiased information.

Over the past decade, the field of esports has made an explosive growth.  On Oct. 18, Oak Park High School Principal Kevin Buchanan released a post on ParentSquare and StudentSquare announcing his interest in starting a school esports team. 

The post came with a form that polled interest in teams for two games: Rocket League and League of Legends. Respondents were sent an invitation to a Zoom meeting on Oct 29. During the meeting, an agenda of what was needed to get the esports operation running was shared and discussed. 

The plan is to establish a student committee to run the club, while the administration ensures the school has the required equipment. Once the committee is formed, the club will be able to submit an application, become an official club and advertise through social media. 

The vision Buchanan has for the club is that students join a “league” (organizations that manage esports tournaments; there are a variety to choose from) and create teams. The school will provide coaches to compete between schools. 

“The club will offer an opportunity for students to play the games they already play and gain worthwhile career and technical education skills and benefits from it, such as education that could provide insight to the video game industry itself and potential scholarship opportunities,” Buchanan said. “The club will also be an opportunity to make connections between kids during distance learning.” 

To get involved, access the original post via ParentSquare and reply to it to be added to an emailing list for future meets — which are scheduled currently to take place every Thursday at 3:15 p.m. — and given a Google Classroom link for the club. Anyone looking to be a part of the team can also email Buchanan directly. Once the club is established they will begin advertising. 

Buchanan emphasized that while each member may not make a top team, the goal is to be inclusive of people from all skill levels in gaming and to form a community where they can create bonds. 

We are hoping that the esports club is successful as it gets up and running and that the OPHS teams do well in their tournaments,” Buchanan said.