Welcome to our new web site!
To give our readers a chance to experience all that our new website has to offer, we have made all content freely avaiable, through October 1, 2018.
During this time, print and digital subscribers will not need to log in to view our stories or e-editions.
In an arena full of screaming fans, two teams face off against one another as shouts of “You can do it” mingle with boos and cries of enthusiasm carry them along on a wave of energy. The ball gets to the goal and the crowd gets louder and louder.
The game is on a big screen, the players are expertly moving the giant ball as they drive cars around the turf to get to the goal, and there are fireworks across the screen when someone gets one through. The stadium is the Organ Mountain High School gymnasium, and the game is called Rocket League, only one of the games energetically played by a growing base known as esports.
On Thursday, Nov. 30, students from across the Las Cruces Public Schools flowed into OMHS for the Las Cruces Public Schools Roadrunner Rally Esports Showcase. Regional middle and high school esports teams competed in various esports arenas during the event. In addition to Rocket League the games included League of Legends, Call of Duty, Overwatch 2, Halo Infinite, Football, Basketball and more.
Esports, or electronic sports, is a fast-growing field of competition video gaming, complete with teams, jerseys and game narration. Hundreds of area students showed up to participate and observe in the games and the eFlavor Showdown, an esports culinary dessert challenge where students created themed desserts inspired by one of the games played in the tournament.
Allan Aguilar, vice president with New Mexico State University Esports, said there are real careers in the esports field. In addition to the gamers, the burgeoning industry includes coaches, recruiters, field managers and organizers.
“I worked really hard to be able to work in esports,” Aguilar said. “I was able to work for a full year with LeagueSpot, a tournament organizing company. I coordinated the whole nation’s private academies, many fully online.”
Aguilar said during Covid many private schools became fully online and couldn’t have sports in person and students didn’t have a lot of interaction with each other.
“They implemented a way through esports to be outside of the class while still being with other students and friends” he said. “So, I had to make a league with all 50 states, and we coordinated the whole season. I got paid really well for that. It’s not difficult to make over six figures in an esports position.”