League of Legends club at Cedarburg High School brings ‘something different’ to team sports

CEDARBURG -- Being part of a team is something many high schoolers hope to experience, and for a group of students at Cedarburg High School, their team sport puts them on separate computers -- but in the same battle.

Computers on, headset on and teammates by your side -- that's the after-school routine for members of the Cedarburg High School League Club.

The game is League of Legends.

"So mainly I needed a social event for the winter time that I did because I wasn't doing anything else. Soccer in the fall, nothing in the winter. Really a social thing, but really wanted to get good at the game and got really better at it as time went on," said Luke Ische, junior at Cedarburg High School.

The group is an eSports team -- students sharing a love for computer gaming -- given a chance to compete.

"We started a group called the League Club, which was eventually made into an official club and we had 20-something members and we entered the competitive season come spring, and that was the start of that," said Martin Diges, junior at Cedarburg High School.

Cedarburg is just one of several schools in the eSports conference, and already they're making a name for themselves as the best eSports team in the state -- winning the Wisconsin high school tournament without dropping a single game.

"The team dynamic is based around a shot caller. We'll have one person telling us where to go or giving us orders, what is good to do," said Diges.

"I honestly like just the complexity of the game. Having to understand so much, what to build, where to go, when you have to react to certain things or if you should react in a certain way. I just like understanding the strategy behind that and working with a team," said Caleb Fraser, junior at Cedarburg High School.

It's the teamwork that the students draw as a comparison to other team sports, many of which they also participate in. For those who don't, League Club has given them more than just a place to play a game.

"I didn't know what to expect, but it's pretty fun because I got to meet a bunch of new people and those guys are pretty good friends now, so yeah, I made friends out of it," said Rachel Neault, sophomore at Cedarburg High School.

"There's a difference between trying to do good personally, to recognizing that even if you're having a bad game, the team is doing well," said Delano.

"Typically we all try to meet in the same room and we all just play together and that's just the biggest thing. Repetition, playing together," said Ische.

While the group, small in numbers, works individually and as a team to improve their set of league skills, they're hoping it's just the start of something much bigger.

"I would really like to see it expand even more to just keep it going, hopefully just other schools so this just becomes a recognized sport. I was trying to talk to somebody at Grafton, hopefully they'll get it and other schools so it's more like a basketball game or event -- to get more publicly known I guess," said Ische.

"It's something different. It expands competition because really sports and other things are about teamwork, about bringing people together for a common goal, and to represent their school and team spirit and really enjoy something at a different level," said Delano.

Next up for the Cedarburg eSports team is a national competition.