MacDuffie’s New Unconventional Sport


Allyson Morin

One of the first Esports Delta games. Photo provided by Allyson Morin

Jillian Ouimet, Senior Staff Writer

MacDuffie has a new sport as a CAP. Not a physical sport or a sport that requires athletes but a sport that exercises the fingers: Esports.

IT director Ed Gray, the leader of the CAP, says Esports is “summed up in a nutshell as competitive team video gaming.”

MacDuffie’s Esports team includes around 14 students with two teams of five, Alpha and Delta, and 4 substitutes. Alpha includes mostly seniors and Delta includes mostly juniors.

There were three teams—the third being Omega—but that team had to be dissolved in order for the other two teams to have substitutes. Gray said that the team was “stretched too thin” because of the other commitments of the players like theater.

The teams of MacDuffie students compete against students from other schools.

MacDuffie has competed in 8 games so far and they have won seven. This puts them in first and second in the standings with Alpha in first and Delta second.

The team recently played in a close quarterfinals game against Shrewsbury Sr. High School where MacDuffie lost 1 to 0. 

Gray said that no girls are involved in this CAP and he is “hoping for some to join to extend the diversity of the teams.”

Sophomore Kiet Hoang, a sub for Alpha, said, “everyone in this generation is trying to get involved in technology and it is good that Esports is able to do this.” Hoang added that this CAP “helps people control their minds and helps them strategize.”

There are 38 total Esport teams in Massachusetts with MacDuffie being the only private school participating.  

The game the players compete in is a 9 year old game called League of Legends. League of Legends is defined universally as a fast-paced, competitive multiplayer online battle arena game with the world’s largest gaming community that requires critical thinking and teamwork. Gray said League of Legends is “very popular in Esports because it involves teams of players that is skill based and there are no random generated items involved.”  

The Esports teams compete on Tuesdays at 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM in the computer lab. The games usually range from 20 minutes to 50 minutes.

Director of Recruitment and Enrollment Management Jeff Pilgrim originally had the idea of forming an Esports team, and he talked to a colleague from another school who was also getting into Esports. Pilgrim said he saw this as something “students would find appealing” and “a good selling point for the school.” More support for the idea came when Gray saw a website that touched upon the topic of colleges giving scholarships to Esport athletes.

Pilgrim sent Gray information regarding PlayVS, an organization that organizes the teams, schedules, and tournaments. PlayVS website encourages “fast-paced, competitive titles that promote teamwork and strategic thinking.”

Esports brings many benefits to MacDuffie. Gray said it “allows these students to represent the school in a way they may not have been able to do before. Sometimes they [the players] are not necessarily athletic, they may not be athletically or mathematically gifted so they may not have a place here where they can represent the school. Esports allows them to follow their passion and represent the school where they could not before. It brings the students out of their rooms and brings them together with other like-minded students here.”