Esports team welcomes all gamers

The video game club provides interested students with an environment to play games together in a casual or competitive environment. The club is co-sponsored by business teacher Patrick Woulfe and campus security guard Roberto Tucker, who are both avid gamers. Video game club meets every Thursday after school in room 3107. Various popular games are offered, including NBA 2k, Super Smash Brothers, Valorant, and League of Legends.

The club averages 10 to 15 members each week. Tucker has been gaming since he was 5 years old, and says he will be gaming until he dies. Tucker also thinks the club benefits introverted students. “In my experience with being a gamer, most of the people I have been around are positive people. (Gaming) is the fastest and easiest icebreaker in the world. Introverts can feel lost, and it helps bring introverted people out of their shell,” he said.

Club co-sponsor Woulfe is a casual gamer who became a club sponsor following the death of sponsor and OPRF Business Education teacher Brian Davis in 2020. He took the position, he said, because he wanted to maintain a place where students could relax and play games. Since he has been at his post, Woulfe says he has seen the club’s casual environment bring students together over a mutual love of video games. “The club’s fun and we hang out, everybody plays video games, so this is a place you can come and find new people to play games with,” he said.

However, the club is beginning to shift into being more competitive. OPRF now has esports teams dedicated to various games, including Super Smash Brothers, NBA 2k, Valorant, Rocket League, and League of Legends.

The members of each team meet regularly during the week to practice.

Senior John Michelotti is a part of the OPRF Fortnite esports team. He joined the video game club last year, and the Fortnite team this September. The team meets once a week in school to practice and often plays together online.

Michelotti’s favorite part about esports is its competitive environment. “The competitive aspect of (Fortnite) allows for only one winner, and you could be that winner,” said Michelotti.

Students interested in joining one of OPRF’s teams may not even have to try out, due to the small size of the club. Students are also ranked and placed on teams according to their in-game statistics and performance, or official competitive ranking.

The video game club also offers a place for gamers to play with each other, even if students are not on one of the dedicated competitive teams.

Club member and OPRF senior Evan Alexander Roberts-Coleman has been attending the club since his freshman year. He has been playing video games since fifth grade, and says he particularly enjoys fighting games. Despite this, Coleman’s favorite part about the club is its atmosphere. “I feel like this club has a more relaxed environment compared to most other clubs. While everyone has fun in all of their clubs, I feel like this club is less academic and rigid.” Coleman said.

The video game club offers students interested in gaming a casual or competitive environment to meet like-minded students. Students have total control over what games they want to play during any given day. The video game club meets after school on Thursdays in room 3107.