BSM Introduces a Video Game Competition as Part of Homecoming Festivities

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Lara DePauw

Jack Timberman received second place in the Homecoming Video Game Tournament.

Homecoming week was full of excitement and fun this year. With activities ranging from pep fests, to speakers to volleyball games, days were packed. Although many homecoming traditions are annual, Assistant Principal of Activities and Student Life Cami Dahlstrom brought in a new idea: a video game tournament.

The idea came from the director of the BSM Esports club Breion Creer. Creer wanted to bring in more interest into the gaming world, and show students the benefits of gaming. Around 23 students signed up for the same, and a couple more even showed up to watch yet ended up competing in the game. “…He wanted to give an opportunity for a different kind of competition. Different than a physical competition,” Dahlstrom said.

Another important thing to factor in, is that many schools are giving scholarships, money and opportunities to travel for students competing well in eSports. “…There’s actually a lot of scholarships that colleges are giving out now because eSports is blowing up. So there’s a ton of money actually, in eSports you can get scholarships to go to different colleges… there’s a ton of different tournaments that are around the world,” Dahlstrom said.

In short, Brawlhalla is a game played by two gamers, involving two characters playing on a battlefield. Similar to Super Smash Bros, the goal is to knock your opponent off using weapons and damaging them as much as possible. The character’s damage is shown as the color around their icon– white, to red, and then ultimately black when the player loses and is defeated. Benilde-St. Margaret’s top three winners all got a prize in the end.

Sophomore Nelson Noglo competed and won first place in the tournament. Noglo expressed that he was not super worried about winning, explaining that he had been playing the game for quite a while since it was the game that got him into gaming in the first place. Even though he had moved a little away from the game onto new ones, he mentioned it was almost muscle memory. “…when I saw the email for the tourney, I wasn’t playing the game at all, and even now, I don’t really play anymore, but I just entered the tournament. Because I thought it’d be fun,” Noglo said.

…when I saw the email for the tourney, I wasn’t playing the game at all, and even now, I don’t really play anymore, but I just entered the tournament. Because I thought it’d be fun,”

— Noglo

Earning second place was sophomore Jack Timberman. Although he wasn’t part of the eSports team, he decided to join as a result of the game. Timberman revealed that he had never played the game before and has not played competitively before either. He explained that he does, however, play in his free time. “We’ll play games five days…six days a week…weekends I usually game like three to four. Weekdays, I usually game an hour,” Timberman said.

Coming in third place was 7th grader Isaac Dukinfield. Dukinfield also plans to join the BSM eSports team after playing in the tournament. He explained that although things might have been easier if he was more used to the game–as it was his first time playing Brawlhalla, as well as using the console– he does not believe he would have done anything differently. “It was interesting because I’m more of a PC person, but then it’s just, I just said, Okay, I’ll try this or that I just, and then my instincts just came in with gaming and they’re just, somehow pulled out third place,” said Dukinfield.

The game brought awareness about the eSports community, just as intended. Thanks to Creer’s idea, the video game tournament had a turnout of many students, and will likely be continued over the next couple years.