Esports Takes Shape at West Po


Photo: Screenshot from the official Rocket League website

Tryouts for West Po’s first esports team in school history will begin next Monday, April 18th and continue on Wednesday, April 20th. The tryouts will fill a total of 12 spots for two teams, one varsity and one junior varsity, to play the video game, Rocket League, against other school teams in the Northern Virginia area.

In addition to the tryouts, an interest meeting for the team will take place this Thursday, April 14th, directly after school in room 171. The first scrimmage could take place as early as next Thursday, but the team is still figuring those details out.

The team will be playing the video game, Rocket League, which is similar to soccer, except the players control cars to hit the ball. The objective is to score as many goals as possible by working as a team.

According to Senior Dylan Black, Co-Captain of the team with Awal Yemer, it is unclear as to how more players could join the team after next week’s tryouts, but he believes there will be a way.

“We’re probably going to have open spots, even, so yeah, absolutely, I do think there will be some form of team induction after tryouts,” Black explained.

Team sponsor Mr. Rogers added that there is currently no limit to the number of teams West Po can have, and that they have already formed one. Each team consists of three players as well as three backups.

Although the team will not be participating in any official competitions yet, they do plan to play scrimmages against other schools in the Northern Virginia area. 

“There’s at least one scrimmage every week,” Black said. “And then we’re probably going to have some kind of practice day to make sure that people are staying sharp, to help train people if they need it.”

The format of the scrimmages will vary, according to Black. Some scrimmages could be set up as a mini tournament, while others could be a set number of games. 

“We’re getting that time, being competitive, trying to win against another team,” Black explained as he described the benefits of the scrimmages.

Beginning next school year, the team plans to run an official Fall and Spring season. For now, Black is focused on running the team smoothly and setting everything up.

“This year is like the practice run to see how it goes,” Black said.

Black and Yemer decided to captain the team because of their shared love of Rocket League.

“We [Black and Yemer] both enjoyed playing it together for awhile and then we had got the offer from Mr. Rogers,” Black said. “We love playing it and we’d love to have the opportunity to teach other people how to do it.”

The team will be the first of its kind at West Po, which makes Black excited for its prospects.

“I think it’s honestly one of the most exciting things I’ve done in my career so far because it’s like this completely new thing,” Black said. “It’s …[an] introduction to this entirely new territory that the whole county is going to be participating in. It’s so exciting … to be a major part of it.”