From Students to State Champions: The Story of the GVHS Overwatch Team

By Benjamin Nguyen

Made by company Blizzard Entertainment, Overwatch takes inspiration from MOBA games like League of Legends and FPS games like Quake to create a unique “hero shooter.” As part of a team of six, players can choose up to 31 different heroes which each have their unique abilities and strengths. Set in a cartoonish-world with an intriguing story, Overwatch is a game that can truly appeal to anyone.

Numerous Overwatch Characters (“Heroes”)

Tennis players, Hi-Q team members, Science Olympiad and Debate officers; all of us may seem radically different at first, but we stay as teammates – and friends through our collective love for Overwatch. I’ve been in the eSports club at GVHS since my freshman year, and we’ve never had a strong shot at a league until now (as a senior). Whether it was missing a deadline or facing restrictive school guidelines, our Overwatch team never really got a chance to shine. 

I knew we had the talent to make a team this year. There were a small number of students I knew in the school who still played the game competitively, but each of their play was among the best I’d ever seen. I became an officer of eSports club not for the position alone, but to use the powers it gave me to bring the then-defunct Overwatch team back to life. 

The Overwatch team; each player is responsible for a different role (tank = shield, damage = bullet, cross = healer). 

In our first season as a full and committed team, we swept through the season to become the NASEF (North American Scholastic Esports Federation) Pennsylvania State Champions. Not to my surprise, of course; all of us had been playing for years, and only needed a little push forward to become a team and play together. Everybody on the team put forth their best effort to make a name for our school, and it showed in our level of performance. 

Former student Aidan “Juice” Sanders came back to help coach us too, fixing parts of our strategy which would prove invaluable for our future matches. Despite not being able to play, his impact while off the field has been enormous. The coaches that gave us guidance, the friends that helped us along the way, everybody had a role in helping GVHS turn its black sheep of an eSports club into state champions. 

Our state title isn’t the end of our journey, however. In February, we get the chance to prove ourselves at Nationals, facing off against the best Overwatch teams in the country. We’ll make sure to work smarter, harder, and more diligently than ever before. Are you excited to see how far our school can go? I know I am. 

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