ESports Team Set to Come to Saugus High School

Esports+team%2C+like+the+upcoming+on+at+Saugus+High+School%2C+participate+in+tournaments+like+the+one+pictured+here.+

Image Courtesy of Dot Esports

Esports team, like the upcoming on at Saugus High School, participate in tournaments like the one pictured here.

Carter White, The Scroll, Sports Editor

On Thursday, it was announced that Saugus High School is set to establish an esports team for the upcoming school year, with interest surveys being sent out via email to students. 

Esports is short for electronic sports, and is a form of competition where professional gamers square off either in teams or individually. Competitions typically take place in a multiplayer setting, and there are prizes awarded at the end of tournaments.  Esports has now become a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) sport, which is the governing body of high school sports in California.

Esports has skyrocketed in popularity and draws viewers in the thousands (Image Courtesy of Syracuse University)

The esports team at Saugus is expected to begin at the start of the 2021-2022 school year, and will not be available for seniors this year.  New Saugus High School chemistry teacher, Caleb Kellogg, is set to be leading the future team. Kellogg himself was nationally ranked in esports in college. 

When asked about his experience with esports in college, Kellogg replied, “When I was in college about 10 years ago, the esports scene was not nearly as developed as it is today. Many of the competitions I participated in were hosted by local businesses and programs or volunteers at my university. Many tournaments were hosted solely in person, meaning you had to physically be in the same room as your opponents unlike the online play available today.” He went on to say, ”It was a great experience, and I was able to make friends with other players that I am still in contact with to this very day!”

In recent years, the world of esports has developed to become more mainstream, with the help of social media platforms that can broadcast tournaments to millions. According to CNBC, the esports industry is worth roughly $1 billion and is projected to grow by 400% in the next seven years. “The introduction of reliable streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTubeLive have propelled the esports scene to new heights. Having a place to view these matches online has significantly increased the volume of spectators,” said Kellogg.   

Additionally, esports has garnered more fans over the years, with audiences logging on to watch the games and root for favorite players and teams. “More spectators equals more advertisers, which equals larger prizes, which leads to more players  and higher level of engaging competition, and more spectators,” said Kellogg. In recent years the world of esports has grown to resemble the industries of many other sports, such as the NFL and NBA. 

Esports have become increasingly popular due to new technology and involve many different ages (Image Courtesy of EdTech Magazine )

Esports have also come to change the industries that support and cover it, including video game media production, gaming journalism and casting and analysis.

The esports team will be the first of it’s kind at Saugus High School. According to NPR, nearly 170 colleges and universities in the U.S. participate in esports, with many high schools also beginning to develop their teams. “I think an official Saugus esports team will not only help students in the same way traditional sports do (by helping to develop teamwork skills, time management, accountability, responsibility) but it will also provide an environment any and all are welcome to engage in,” stated Kellogg.

To find out more about the future esports team at Saugus, contact Caleb Kellogg at [email protected]