Erick N. Narvaez ‘23
The COVID 19 pandemic has severely impacted the way we approach and interact in school. With two different types of learning, both Hybrid and Fully Remote instruction, there is a significant number of students who are unable to interact with each other. The limit to how many students can be on campus has come with a lack of activities for students to participate in. This also creates a challenge for the Youth Ministry, who have to keep in mind the restrictions regulations set in place by the pandemic, when coming up with activities for the students. As a result, the Youth Ministry has introduced Salesian Gaming Tournaments to help students have fun while staying safe at home.
Salesian Gaming Tournaments aren’t anything new to the school, mainly being exclusive to the Salesian Esports Club prior to the initial lockdown back in March of 2020. Now, however, it seems the administration wants more students to get involved in school activities, especially those who are in remote learning, and this is one way they’ve been doing it, through something many people love – videogames. And what better way to introduce these tournaments than through Spirit Week, a time of fun, competition, and school spirit?
Back in January, right before Spirit Week, students received an email from Mr. Siefring. This email detailed a survey asking students to pick, out of four video games, which ones they would like to compete in for Spirit Week. These four games were Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite: Battle Royale, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and NBA 2K20. These tournaments were scheduled for Thursday, January 28th, but were then changed to be on the 29th to make it more convenient for students, especially because of the shortened day. A multitude of students showed up to the various tournaments to play, have fun, and win the competition for their class.
It appears that the success of Spirit Week’s Gaming Tournaments has given the school’s Youth Ministry the motivation to host more tournaments. Over the Winter Break, more tournaments were held on Friday, February 19th. This time however, the competition was all for pure fun, with no real reward or gain, except bragging rights of course. Once again, Smash Bros and Warzone, and this time Rocket League was added to the list of tournaments students could compete in. Similar to Spirit Week’s attendance, many showed up to compete.
In order to participate in these tournaments, students were directed to join a google classroom. Along with a google classroom for these tournaments, it appears students are provided a link to the Salesian ESports Discord Server, where they could interact with other gamers with similar interests. Overall, the introduction of video game tournaments has shown to be beneficial to students. Not only are they able to participate in school events, but they are also able to meet new people and make new friends. The success of the video game tournaments also indicate that there might be more to come in the future, so keep an eye out and get to gaming!