February 7, 2020 Achievements

Sioux City e-sports team brings out the competitiveness of gamers

Jett Lange participates in Esports practice at Sioux City North High School while Jordan Butler, Christian Rubio, and Jack Coyle watch. Photo by Jesse Brothers, Sioux City Journal.

Can you get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome through massive mouse usage?

That entered the mind of 10th grader Jack Coyle as he and other North High School Esports players discussed strategy in the middle of a spirited game of “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege.”

“I imagine the worst injury for a gamer is hurting his hand or wrist,” he said, rapidly tapping a computer mouse with one hand and a laptop keyboard with the other. “You won’t injure yourself like in other sports but you can get hurt.”

Coyle and crew are serious when it comes to computer games. Plus they’re getting closer in making gaming a respectable high school sport.


That was Jose Ramirez’s dream when he founded North’s first Esports club about two years ago.

“I thought it would be fun to bring kids with a similar interest together,” the 11th grader explained. “As the club grew bigger,  I figured we should start thinking in terms of tournaments.”

This dream will soon become a reality since the Esports team recently accepted a $5,000 grant from the Sioux City Public Schools Foundation to purchase dedicated computers and Esports-friendly swag, according to adviser Travis Monk.

“Not only will the students be able to host and participate in local tournaments, they’ll be able to host and participate in tournaments across the country,” he said.


Wait, computer nerds playing video games are now considered athletes engaged in sporting events? That can’t be on the level, right?

Well, believe it or not, it is.

More 170 colleges and universities currently participate in Esports, a form of competition involving video games.

Plus there’s money involved– around $16 million in college scholarships.

According to National Public Radio, high schools in 17 states and the District of Columbia have formal Esports teams.

Just like their high school football counterparts, Esports members are busy running drills, developing strategy and reviewing game footage.

And nope, they’re not playing “Super Mario Bros.,” either.

For North’s Esports team, they prefer multiplayer online battle arena games like “League of Legends” or first-person shooter games like “Counter-Strike” or “Rainbow Six Siege.”

View the full article by Earl Horlyk on the Sioux City Journal.

Photo by Jesse Brothers, Sioux City Journal.