Competitive Video Gaming “eSports” Team Starts at Tosa West


Sam Wade

Abdul Bhatti discusses developments installing components on the school computers with the esports club.

Wauwatosa West students now have the opportunity to compete with other schools in the new eSports club founded this year.

eSports is the term used to describe competitive gaming. Some of the most popular eSport games at the moment are Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), League of Legends (League), and Overwatch. eSports has been on the rise since the 2010s and due to this rise in popularity, West started its own which has multiple teams for a variety of games .

Junior class member Abdul Bhatti was the student who founded the club and advised by teacher Nathan Chart.

Bhatti said that what really inspired him was how much “regular” sports were being talked about everyday.

“I wanted West to be a place for more than just athletes when it came to physical sports, because there wasn’t really a place anywhere for the typical gamer. I figured that this would be a step in the right direction.”

Currently the Wauwatosa West eSports Club is made of around 27 members. The club has a CS:GO team, a League team, a Siege (Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege) team, a Rocket League team, and an Overwatch team.  Each team has 4 to 5 members and 2 alternates.  Teams compete against other teams in the central time zone.  Students have competed against teams in Wisconsin and Missouri this season.  

On the professional level there are global and well known tournaments where the winning team is awarded millions. eSports might not offer some of the same rewards as in the professional level but the rewards are still high.  The Milwaukee Bucks recently started their own NBA 2K eSports team as discussed in an article by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“I’m hoping to get some of that scholarship money,” says Theodore Anagnostopoulos, junior at West and also part of the CS:GO team.

The Wauwatosa West eSports club is hoping to be able to compete with different teams across the state for scholarship money at this year’s HSEL (High School Esports League) spring major. But in order to get the scholarships, comes hard work and dedication.

“We practice about two hours on average each night,” said junior team member Tyler Hughes.

Wauwatosa West isn’t the first school in Wisconsin to start such a club. Walden III, a high school in Racine, has been acknowledged as the first high school to found their own eSports team. Currently there are not many schools in Wisconsin that have an eSports club but as its popularity rises, so do the number of schools starting their own eSports club.

While most of the activities of the club, such as training, are done online, the club meets once every other Monday.

It’s important to note though that the eSports club is just getting started and it is hard to know as of now whether the club will make it and strive or shut down by the end of the year.

“Our CS:GO captain just left to join the League team,” says Jackson Nichols. “I hope I’ll be able to compete.”

The registration deadline for eSports teams has passed because of the competition season this year is in the spring. People can join starting next year and if there isn’t a team for the game you want to play, the club is open to suggestions and is more than willing to work with your wants and needs.