eSports: How Competitive Gaming Cultivates Interpersonal Communication


Claudia Rosales, Staff Writer

Upon thinking of sports activities that students partake in, eSports might not be one of the activities that springs to mind first. Contradicting this statement, however, is the knowledge that eSports has been gradually rising in popularity since 2019, bringing in an outstanding 1.8 billion views, and more since then. 

eSports, or electronic sports, is quickly becoming recognized as a varsity level sport played in high schools across the country. Not only is the activity amusing to watch and to participate in, the sport is also an incredible source of soft skills, such as communication, focus, time management, and much more. Elkhart High is proud to be one of said schools with its very own eSports team: Elkhart Elite. 

The teams meet after school at the ETI building on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 4-6 p.m. to play their respective video games, as well to discuss strategies for competitive games. The current games offered include these: Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Riot Game’s Valorant

Despite the ambitious nature to the description, do not be fooled to believe that the club is all about competitiveness and aggressive gaming. In fact, a vast majority of the members joined solely to be surrounded by like-minded people who enjoy gaming. Junior Erick Becerra Valdes speaks on how the club has helped to improve his collaboration with peers. “I would say that this club has definitely helped with talking to other people who love playing games as much as me.” Eagerly, Becerra goes on further to explain how the club has benefited both him and his classmates. “Getting to support players who may be a bit less experienced is really a monumental experience for me, especially since I’m not that good at talking with people I don’t know!” With it being his second year in the club, Becerra has plenty of experience with building synergy, and it’s certainly exciting to see how proud he is to regularly help his companions.

Synergy, the act of working together as a team to complete a task, is a big part of video games. An example of the team using these skills would be during Valorant, a co-op tactical shooting game. Spending a day with the team is more than enough time to recognize how the harmony they’ve built is dependent on their collaboration efforts during these competitive games. The team gathers around for group meetings wherein they collectively discuss strategies that would benefit their group. Interacting with each other heavily, they get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and later use it to their advantage to then combat the opposing team. Both mentors, Mr. Neil Bahbah and Mr. William Cunha, ensure communication is prevalent and give competitive teams a comfortable space to play.

Most, if not all, of the members of Elkhart Elite heard of the club through mutual friends spreading the word, which goes to further prove how the club is built on amity and familiarity. Senior Alex Marin, one of the longest running members on the team, describes his four-year involvement with adoration. “When I first began, and when everyone else began, the club was still pretty new; everyone was shy and struggled to get comfortable with one another. But because we were all excited to play games with people who share similar interests, the ice was easy to break after only a couple of weeks.” Marin continues on fondly, illustrating the environment that surrounds the club: “I think it’s very evident that we’ve all built a safe space of sorts, where we’re all comfortable and involved together. I’m very appreciative of that and hope that the years after me have that similar experience.”

eSports is on track to becoming one of the most streamed sports and has already proved itself to be a sport capable of building soft skills within its players. Whether debating to join the club for the competitive aspect of it, or to surround themselves with amiable people willing to share strategies and friendly banter, members of the club like Marin and Becerra greatly encourage students to join!