The e-Sports industry is estimated to be worth $1billion and is projected to grow 25 percent by next year. The popularity on the VFMA campus is strong and growing too. The team is currently 15 players representing all VFMA grades.
Coached by TAC officer Zac Stauffenberg, the team is off to a fast and solid start. “We have been practicing now for a few weeks and matches have started,” said Coach Stauffenberg. “We are seeing tough competition and more than holding our own.”
Stauffenberg has been playing video games since first grade and is comfortable playing a wide variety of the options. “Being able to channel that interest and previous knowledge into this generation and motivating them to play at a high level is a big motivation for me too,” he said. Stauffenberg was a Cadet from 2014-2016 and has held positions in Security and summer camps before assuming his current TAC Officer position.
e-Sports is a varsity club sport in the Middle School- and High School e-Sport leagues. The high school league plays Valorant and Halo Infinite. The middle school league plays Rocket League. Both play Minecraft and Brawlhalla. Most have a team of players in the game; Brawlhalla and Minecraft are single player games.
During practice, the players match with others online and compete there to hone their skills. “What makes a player good at e-Sports is excellent reaction times and good decision-making – both skills which are part of learning here at VFMA,” said Stauffenberg. “ Combined with spatial awareness and good teamwork is a standard formula for success.”
The season begins in late September and runs through mid-November. Playoffs follow with championships underway in mid-December. The team plays against teams from all across the US with the exception of Valorant which competes only with others in the Eastern bracket.
“Based on what I am seeing in the effort and skill from this team, I am confident they will do very well. They show great potential and it is going to be an exciting year,” said Stauffenberg.