CVMS Esports Team Will Compete Nationally

Rithwik Nair (7) participated and made it past the Redemption Round in an esports competition organized by Middle School Esports League (MSEL) on Oct. 25, 2022. The team is sponsored by Mr. Ed Acosta, and Ms. Jennifer Arcaya. 

“I decided to sponsor the esports team because Ms. Arcaya and I have been talking about it for a couple of years. She just felt that she was sponsoring a lot of groups and her time was spread thin, so she needed help, and I decided to help her out because I know that’s up and coming and very popular.” Mr. Acosta said.

The Canyon Vista esports team is one of the two esports teams in the school district. Due to technical difficulties, Canyon Vista could not participate in the Championship “Champ” bracket.

“We had some technical issues generating our usernames and passwords for generation esports which we used for Minecraft. Because a lot of kids are under thirteen years of age, we have to protect their privacy, so Generation Esports gives them totally anonymous login credentials. So we had some issues with that, with getting the right credentials to work. Then also for the district ITS to open up servers specifically for gaming, so we have bigger broadband capabilities to accommodate the faster play that’s needed.” Mr. Acosta said.

Despite these challenges, Nair was able to participate in the “Redemption Road” bracket. Redemption Road is an additional bracket for teams who could not qualify for the Championship bracket. Nair made it past the Redemption Road round, and now has the opportunity to play with kids from all over the nation.

“My favorite part was probably getting to play with my friends, and actually getting to participate in a Minecraft tournament.” Nair said.

The accomplishments of Nair and his friends are often slighted by the idea that video games are detrimental to the health of children and teenagers. However, a study performed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showed that among 2000 children, those who reported playing video games for three hours per day or more performed better on cognitive skills tests involving impulse control and working memory compared to children who had never played video games. 

“Some games I can definitely see where it comes from, but there are still games like Minecraft, where I don’t think violence is a big part of it, more the fun and creativity. When it comes to other games that I could see as being violent, I don’t think most people think too far into it, they just think guns and bullets, and that’s violence.” Nair said.

It’s not just children who echo this sentiment though. Adults and teachers at this school feel that esports is not only beneficial mentally, but can also impact students in their social and academic life as well.

“Esports now is probably the most popular growing sport. Supposedly, esport competitions are getting more viewers than the Super Bowl, which is kind of crazy. I didn’t realize that. I’ve been fortunate enough to go to Concordia University where they have an esports program, and I’ve learned that many colleges and universities are offering scholarships to esports athletes.” Mr. Acosta said. “I like the fact that esports athletes tend to not be involved in many other extracurricular activities like band or football. They’re kind of excluded in those activities, or they don’t participate very much. This esports program allows those kids to be included.”