Sapulpa eSports season begins

Sapulpa eSports season begins
Posted on 10/05/2021
(SPS) -- Sapulpa's eSports league, now entering its third season, is attracting more students to give the team a competitive edge.

More than two dozen Sapulpa Junior High and High School students now take part in eSports, which has been officially recognized as a sport by OSSAA.

While it is unclear how the designation will affect future tournament play, Sapulpa's eSports participants and coaches are ready to take on the new season. They're practicing for a couple hours each day after school and looking forward to qualifiers for Super Smash Brothers in early November in Broken Arrow.

Sapulpa eSports founder and head coach Jessie Swayze is now joined by assistant coach Alyssa Wallace, an English teacher by day and an accomplished gamer.

Coaches Swayze and Wallace say skilled student gamers have the opportunity to earn scholarships, and some are being recruited by the military for their ability to strategize and make quick decisions.

Sapulpa High School sophomore Jase Caldwell is on the team for the second year in a row, telling Tulsa's News on 6 he hopes his team makes it to the playoffs again this year. He says he's not only mastering the games, but enjoying the camaraderie of eSports.

"It feels more of a friend atmosphere because it's a bunch of friends practicing with each other,” Caldwell told News on 6.

That's a feeling echoed by Coach Swayze, who told the Sapulpa Times, " “watching them come out of their comfort zones and learn to work together is truly remarkable.”

Swayze worked to transform a room in Sapulpa High School into a state-of-the-art gaming facility in 2019. The district’s IT team worked out a sponsorship with one of the premier players in the industry, MSI, to receive computers, monitors, keyboards, mice, headsets, and gaming chairs. Just recently, a high-performance coach's computer was delivered.

This season's games include not only Smash Brothers Ultimate, but Madden 22 and Rocket League.

Learn more about Sapulpa's eSports facility.

Media coverage:
Sapulpa Times
News on 6
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