Biloxi High School esports team slays virtual opponents en route to state title
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Video games have come a long way since the days of Pong and Atari. Now the technology has evolved to esports leagues. Even in high school, where a local esports team is racking up state titles virtually, and in person.
Biloxi High School’s esports team recently won the PlayVS state championship. The Indians also won a state match in 2022 and the fall esports title. Two years ago, when the team got going, they only had three players. Now, that’s up to 30.
“I’ll be honest, a lot of the reaction is ‘what’s esports?’ That’s where we come in and tell them it’s competitive video games. They usually say all we’re doing is playing video games,” said James Maxcey, esports coach at Biloxi. “It’s not just that. We’re playing competitively against other schools. Yeah, we’re trying to have a good time, but we’re also trying to be the best, just like any traditional sport like football or soccer. We’re putting in hours of practice time, running scrimmages, and looking back on our game footage.”
Just like any other sports team, you have your upperclassmen like Genesis Reed, who also plays traditional sports.
“Joining this team, I had to learn how to play with them,” Reed said. “Just like in basketball, you have to learn how to pass the ball to each other. It’s basically some of the same aspects.”
Senior Justin Bankston is a gamer who’s also in the marching band.
“The teamwork, for sure. it’s big,” Bankston said. “But here, I don’t get all sweaty like on the field.”
We’re told esports has been around as a high school sport in Mississippi since the 2018-19 school year. The Biloxi team is currently going through tryouts and looking for team members to compete in six different games.
“It’s been exciting to grow the organization from just a few players to now having people beating down our door wanting to know how they can get into esports,” said esports coach Kristen Harris.
Want more WLOX news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Copyright 2023 WLOX. All rights reserved.