I'm still trying to warm up to esports


First of all, I admit that I’m a little old school.

I generally like and prefer the way things used to be handled.

Which brings me to the first Esports League of Legends state championship for the pilot sport, which was held Jan. 25.

I’m having a hard time welcoming esports into the Colorado High School Activities Association.

Esports, or electronic sports, is a form of competition using video games.

It is a controversial point for debate whether esports is a sport. It is gaining popularity, and most of the world considers electronic sports to be a sport because of the planning, timing and execution required.

CHSAA wanted to bring the competition into the schools and have a big-time championship, which I applaud, but it is still not a physical sport and it will take a while for esports to attract interest from me.

Ryan Casey, the CHSAA director of digital media, called the first esports championship amazing and labeled esports as a good pilot program.

Casey wrote about the first championship, which was won by Cherry Creek with a 2-0 win over Gateway. Highlands Ranch and Bear Creek were the other two semifinal teams among the 56 teams that were in the first pilot program season.

Reading Casey’s story was like reading Greek to me, with plenty of words I did not understand — like towers, eliminations and dragons.

Don’t ask what any of the terms mean. This is all new to me.

According to Casey, Vlad Dolzhenko dealt 56,327 damage, had a 13-4 kill/death ratio and 28 assists to lead the Bruins in the finals.

Casey also pointed out that Gateway’s Leonid Chyzhykov had what apparently is an outstanding KDA line of 18/2/11 against Bear Creek in the semis.

Stay tuned for more on esports since the spring season begins in March and will compete in Rocket League.

Honor roll

Each week, performances of South Metro athletes and teams will be highlighted. This week’s performances were selected from games, matches and meets held between Jan. 24 and Jan. 30.

Senior Reece Kelly scored 28 points and junior Ben Bowen had 20 as Mountain Vista’s boys basketball team capped a strong second-half performance with a 74-65 win over Chaparral on Jan. 25. Continental League scoring leader Kobe Sanders had 27 points for Chap.

Heritage got goals from seven different players in a 7-2 hockey win over Castle View on Jan. 25.

Leighton Walsh assisted on two third-period goals as the Regis Jesuit hockey team edged Monarch, 3-2, in a Jan. 25 contest.

Liberty Line and Katherine Higgins each had 21 points in a 52-27 win over Heritage for the Ponderosa girls basketball team on Jan. 25. Higgins also had 15 rebounds in the game.

Julian Hammond III and Myles Purchase each had 20 points to help Cherry Creek’s boys basketball team, ranked No. 7, toppled second-ranked Smoky Hill, 76-65, on Jan. 29.

Valor Christian sophomore Raegan Beers had a double double of 21 points and 10 rebounds in a 78-41 girls basketball conquest for the second-ranked Eagles over No. 5 Ralston Valley on Jan. 29.

Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at jbenton@coloradocommunitymedia.com or at 303-566-4083.

Jim Benton


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