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Checkpoint XP Wilmington

St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington, Delaware has joined in on the fun and explosive industry of gaming and esports. The Catholic high school has started their very own eSports team, due to the growing interest among students. It is one of the biggest clubs in the school, although it just started this year. The Spartans have teams in five sports (or games) and those are League of Legends, Rocket League, Call of Duty, Fortnite, and Rainbow Six Siege. About 50 students were members of the esports club before coronavirus had shut down schools. Although, the club still operates as a team, as gaming can be done from the self quarantine in their house, while still playing and talking with their team members online.

The esports club was inspired by senior student who played for Temple University in the fall and reached out to some classmates to help him start the team at their high school. The student took the appropriate steps to forming a club at the school and ended up submitting a nine page proposal to his principal, Tom Fertal. Now, Vince Artymowicz, who started the club, oversees the club and has pulled together several classmates to be assigned team captains pertaining to each game the club plays.

“We’ve all played video games for a very long time. We’re all passionate about video games. I know that a whole bunch of other grades are also into video games. People I know from other schools … I used to play video games with them. Everybody plays video games, whether it’s on your iPad in class when you’re supposed to be doing work or you’re at home with your friends,” Artymowicz said.

Although many members of the club are more for the leisurely play and non-competitive format, St. Mark’s esports club is aiming to compete in local and regional esports leagues.

“We have both the teams and just for casual play. We’re planning on getting a room (at Saint Mark’s). In our room, we would set up consoles and some computers where people could just come together and just play. Come together as a community,” Branca, a club captain said.

Overall, the gaming club is here to promote diversity and include all and any members.

People who wouldn’t normally hang out together … both play the same game. They both come on together and play. It creates these bonds that normally wouldn’t happen at school with normal social things. This is something that anybody of any size, sex, religion, they can all come together and be successful at it,” he said.

Artymowicz, who wants to make gaming his career, likes that anyone can compete. “They can still be athletes even if they can’t dunk a basketball.”

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