Blackman’s E-Sports are gaming their way to the top


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Blackman’s E-Sports team is accomplishing more than previous years and getting more competitive.

The 2021 Blackman High School E-Sports team is on a roll. Last year, the team didn’t quite make it to tournaments. This year, they made it to tournaments and put up a fight. Their growth has shown throughout just one year.  

Rocket League is one of the top games, as it was very competitive in the tournament, ranking 6th in the Central Region.  

This team ended up finishing 8th overall during the regular season out of over 133 teams but lost in the quarterfinals in an overtime match. Garon Hendricks, senior, Ethan Krise, senior, and Joshua Naugle, senior, were all participants in this match.  

A tournament works just like one would think for any sport. 

Jorge Avila, senior, has finished 6th overall in the FIFA Solos for the Eastern Region out of 48 teams. He won his tournament match 5-1. 

“For us FIFA players, a tournament places the top 16 players/teams out of 47 players (based off of your regular-season record) into a round-of-16 bracket. To win your match, you must win two out of the three matches you play vs your opponent. Then you move onto the quarterfinals, and so on,” stated Avila.  

The excitement of this tournament was felt through the players competing.  

“The tournament was a blast! It’s always fun to compete on something you’re good at with other people who are also really good. I got the nerves, but I wouldn’t call the experience ‘nerve-racking.’ That’s why I love E-Sports, it’s competitive, but it’s also pretty laid back and ‘chill’, at least for me,” said Avila. 

Misael Avalos Madera, senior, finished the regular season in 14th place out of over 48 teams. He lost 1-2, 1-5 to a student from Kentucky in this tournament. 

“Competing in this tournament was a new experience for me. This was my first time competing, so I would say that it was a little nerve-racking. I would be nervous at the start of the games, but once I started playing, it went away,” stated Madera. 

Joy Wilson, a physics teacher at Blackman High School, is the coach of the E-Sports Team. She has been out for the last two months because of her broken leg. 

“Please congratulate all the students because all of them have done a fabulous job managing without me as on task as I normally am,” said Wilson. 

The E-Sports team goes on coached by her in a different way than they were used to. 

“The absence of Ms. Wilson has definitely been felt throughout the team. However, despite the obstacles, Ms. Wilson has still been a great motivator for the team through her e-mails and Discord messages. I’m grateful that Ms. Wilson was able to be heavily involved in our team despite dealing with three surgeries,” stated Avila. 

Discord is a free voice, video, and text chat app that’s used by tens of millions of people ages 13+ to talk and hang out with their communities and friends. 

According to, the E-Sports industry is “real, growing globally, and investable.”  

The E-Sports industry is an outlet for people with a passion for gaming. 

“There are many people who have a passion for playing games, and it gives them opportunities to reach those professional levels. I was never into competitive gaming at all I just played casual, but this gave me an opportunity that I have never had,” says Madera. 

To Avila, E-Sports is based on connection. 

“E-sports gives the gaming community a chance to connect with one another and show the school that gaming isn’t just a useless hobby anymore!” states Avila. 

Players practice independently and the number of times one does so is self-driven. 

According to Avila, many players practice 3-4 sessions lasting 1-3 hours a week. It really varies based on homework, practicing for other clubs, etc.  

Refer to Matt Taylor’s article, “E-Sports on the Rise” to read more in-depth information about E-Sports and the Blackman High School E-Sports stats last year:  

E-Sports is evolving, and Blackman High School’s team is gaming up to the top.