Pursuit in Passion Creates Communities

The recognition of esports by the Virginia High School League has created new communities and has led students to further pursue their passion in video games.


Photo Courtesy of Donovan Nguyen

Senior Donovan Nguyen, along with his four teammates, placed second in the state tournament for League of Legends, a multiplayer 5v5 arena style fighting game.

James Lee, Staff Writer

In a field dominated primarily by South Korea and China, esports has been on a continuous rise in the United States. With tournaments that have prize pools exceeding $40 million, it’s no surprise that many would pursue their passion for gaming and turn it into a career. Senior Donovan Nguyen has taken an extra step in pursuing his passion for video games as the co-founder of the Esports club located in math teacher Logan Flannigan’s classroom (1212).

As a co-founder of the club and team, Nguyen works together with his fellow co-founder, junior Chris Danh, in order to organize weekly competitions and group practice sessions. 

However, the mounting responsibilities of organizing and participating in competitions requires well thought out planning to balance his time. “I run on an often tight schedule,” Nguyen said. “I have a job, I run this club, [and] I have other extracurriculars.” 

Nguyen’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. “[Nguyen] communicates well with all the members,” Danh said. ”He’s also approachable, not just to club members, but [to] a lot of people.” Nguyen has spent a lot of his time in high school pursuing  a community where people with passion for games could congregate.

Despite the meteoric rise of video games and the esport industry, skeptics question whether esports can be considered “real sports.” However, with activities such as chess, a highly competitive game — which is considered as a sport according to the International Olympic Committee — many who compete at the highest level of video games wonder why esports shouldn’t be considered as well. 

“Esports can be just as competitive as any other sport,” Nguyen said. “There are so many people that’d be willing to give it a shot.”  One competition that the club participated in was the state tournament hosted by VHSL for League of Legends, a 5v5 arena style fighting game. The Esports team placed 2nd at this fierce competition.

Sports at their core are supposed to bring people together to have fun in a competitive environment. With his passion for games, Nguyen has been able to connect students with interest in competitive games such as League of Legends, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros, in order to create a new community.