The British Esports Championships allows secondary schools and further education colleges to take part in competitive gaming tournaments.
There are many teams taking part, all with their own identity, strengths and weaknesses. This week we profile Fortes Esports from Carmel College, a Catholic Sixth Form College, who answered our following questions:
Please tell us about your team name, what it means and your logo and ethos.
We are Fortes Esports. Fortes means strong and is part of our school motto, Fortes in Fide. Miss Patience, one of our English teachers, came up with the name and we thought it suited us because a really strong sense of team motivates us.
Our team logo was designed by Miss Brocklebank in our IT department and includes a shield to embody the strength aspect of our name. It also includes elements of our school logo. We also have Discord, Twitch, Twitter and YouTube presences, all organised by our superb IT staff, Mr Kitching and Mr Taylor.
Which games do you participate in?
We play League of Legends, Rocket League and Overwatch in Season 1 and at school. We have a thriving lunchtime club, every lunchtime, for any students who want to play, whether or not they are in our Championship teams.
We compete in all three games in the British Esports Championships.
Who plays in your teams?
Our League of Legends team is Sara, Elizabeth, Bogdan, Jack and Adam. Our Rocket League team is James, Carter, Cameron and Piotr. And our Overwatch team consists of Elliot, Luke, Akos, Will, Robson, Alex and Richard.
Tell us about your practicing methods.
Our Overwatch team is so enthusiastic that the gamers stay back for a couple of hours on Mondays to practise, while Mrs Atherton does Year 11 revision but they also play together using their own accounts from home.
We’ve also had a couple of Overwatch friendlies against the team from Woodham Academy who have very kindly come to play at Carmel.
Our League of Legends team meets on Wednesday lunchtime and plays competitive games together online. This team has also played against Woodham Academy when they came to visit. The players also compete together at home. Our Rocket League team mostly practise together from home.
What’s the most memorable or funniest moment in the team so far?
We have lots of memorable moments from the Championships including how brilliant it was to play our first matches and also win. We were also pleased as punch when students came forward to commentate games and when we had so many viewers watching our matches.
The visits by Woodham Academy have also been really enjoyable. There are also lots of the funny moments, like when Mrs Atherton agreed that our League of Legends team would play a Rocket League friendly. Needless to say, that didn’t happen.
What’s the hardest part about working as a team?
Working in a team is not proving difficult, though it can be hard to organise games when so many players are involved. Of course, losing is always hard to take. We are a relatively small school, so we already know one another quite well.
It is actually really enjoyable playing together in the same room, so we try, wherever possible, to play all our matches on Wednesdays so that all three teams are together in the classroom. The atmosphere is great, especially when we have casters in and can stream the games.
What are your general thoughts on the British Esports Championships?
The Championships have been brilliant because without them and the backing of our headteacher, Mr Shorten, we would not have a superb 14-strong gaming PC environment at Carmel. The PCs are always in use whenever students are not in lessons.
The Championships themselves have had a good start, we think, particularly as nothing quite this ambitious has been tried before. We think it’ll be even better in Seasons 3 and 4 as more schools get involved, though we feel that clearer communication and more robust governance will also be needed as the Championship expands.
What are your aims in the Championships?
Esports at Carmel continues to be very, very popular with students. One of the best things about being in the teams, in running the club and being part of the Championships is just seeing students that are not involved with other school opportunities (like the shows, productions or traditional sports teams) involved with something that has real purpose and value.
Among our players, we have students whose expertise has not previously been recognised now in a community where they feel comfortable and valued. Our club enables students to build new friendships and develop their skills, including leadership, communication, negotiation and resilience.
Of course, in addition to gaming, we have the streaming station, set up and run by Mr Kitching with help from the students. Our students love streaming the games and casting, learning new software skills and how to manage and coordinate live events along the way.
Our plans now include hosting our own esports LAN events, the first of which is an Overwatch Invitational that will take place in February 2019 and raise money for charity.