Since 2009, League of Legends has been a headlining title in the E-Sports world. Gathering huge crowds in-person and on twitch, thousands of people tune in to see teams compete.
Godwin’s League of Legends team had a season this year, placing third in the state. Samuel Vaughn, the coach for the team, spoke about what it was like working with the team.
“I was the coach for the Henrico team for three years. I wasn’t planning on coaching for Godwin, but the students of the esports team came and personally asked me if I would be the coach, and at first I acted as a sponsor rather than a coach,” said Vaughn.
The team was on a losing streak towards the beginning of the season, so the coach stepped in to help them even more.
“The team captain, Joey Chen, came to me and asked for help. I carved out some time to meet with them and help them. The team had a lot of struggles with communication and cooperation, but when I helped them with those areas, they quickly rose through the ranks and began to realize that this was something they could actually win,” said Vaughn.
Vaughn also explained that the outcome of the team’s season could’ve been very different, given the right circumstances.
“The Virginia High School League (VHSL) should’ve put more consideration into the arena we played semis in. Our room was decided on a coin toss, and our opponent went to a silent computer lab across the street. And during their match, not only could I not spectate them and give them advice, but there were two other tournaments for different games going on in the same room. So the noise plus me not being able to help the team didn’t go well together. But I think that if we had an in person facility and could practice about four times a week, we could easily win the state championship,” said Vaughn.
Eddie Tang, a junior on the team, said that one of the best moments for the team was when they defeated Northside High School, a team with an undefeated record.
“Beating Northside was unreal, we went into it thinking that this would be the end of our run after they won the first round, so we put our feelings aside and concentrated on what to do, which led us to victory,” said Tang.
Tang also said that a major wall for the team was communication with one another.
“Teamwork and communication were hard for the team, it felt like a trial and error of sorts, and getting into the right mindset was even harder,” said Tang.
Joey Chen, a junior, also says similar things about the team’s communication. Sometimes a player will dictate a play, and another player might not respond to the call. This led to bad plays and was a main factor in some of our losses in the regular season. However, we were able to pull ourselves together to come together as a team, and make it to the semis.
Many players on the team, the coach included, all agree that the MVP of the team was Hemanshh Adunoor.
Junior Jason Wang a member of the team said “Hemansh was 100% our MVP. He could play really well under pressure, and I don’t know what we would do without him.”
Adunoor talked about his experience getting to play with this team.
“We are a rookie team, and we all felt outskilled on an individual level. I’m really proud of our team and how far we made it. We made it because of our teamwork and attitude,” said Adunoor.
Adunoor also explained how the team practiced efficiently.
“Practice was heavily focused on defining how we were going to play. Instead of playing game after game and going to the next one, we put thought into how our draft was going to go and the roles everyone had. After each game, we would watch replays and fix each other’s mistakes, think of future ideas, restate what we learned previously, and translate the knowledge in-game,” said Adunoor.
The team hopes that for the next season they will be given a stipend and a facility to help them further their success and hope to win state champions for the school next season.