Woodbridge’s E-Sport Club Tackles Viral Games

Woodbridge High very own Esports team weighs in about their club and their favorite games, as well as some that have gained popularity over the years especially during the Covid-19 pandemic


Ocean Pham

Juniors Joshua Moon and Ezra Kim warm up for the Super Smash Tournament for Clash of the Classes.

Electronic Sports, better known as esports, serve as one of the latest frontiers of extra-curricular competition. Esports revolve around playing and perfecting video games, with most games played competitively specifically designed to have a high skill ceiling and requiring demanding coordination, knowledge and teamwork to truly master, but while also having a legitimate fun factor. 

“[Esports are a] good way to sneak a debilitating video game addiction onto college apps,” senior and Woodbridge Esports club founder Nick Suh said humorously, showing that while the club might seem like fun and games, it can truly provide a real team spirit.

Competitive games that esports clubs and teams play are often first-person shooters (FPS), games like Valve Software’s Counter-Strike and Riot Games’ Valorant, which have gained massive amounts of popularity due to their extremely demanding team play required to maneuver and defeat opponents effectively. Competitions for these games can be massive, with the 2022 Valorant Championship having a one million dollar prize pool.  

“The club has a variety of games we play, with a focus on esport-centric ones,” junior Chris Kim said. “But we accept any and all gamers ranging from people who have potential careers at a pro level to [mobile gamers]. As long as you play a game and enjoy it, you’re a gamer to us.” 

Kim emphasizes the general attitude of the club toward games,  reinforcing the idea that they do not only adhere to the strictly competitive genres. 

“Personally I’m an aficionado for FPS games, such as Apex Legends or Overwatch, but I have a soft spot for throwbacks like Pokémon or [the] Lego games,” Kim said.

The junior and sophomore teams go head to head in their Super Smash Bros battle for Clash of the Classes. (Ocean Pham)

Esports are a hard sell for many. 

“While I do believe esports does have a potential to compete in school settings, it’s still very much in its early stages with most of its interest overshadowed by either academics and societal views on games still being viewed upon as primarily a hobby at most,” Kim said. 

The idea of playing a video game still garners images of a classic coin operated arcade to general audiences, despite the fact that games have evolved into a medium that can be anything from story driven dramas like Sony’s The Last Of Us or strategic battlefields like Valve’s Counter-Strike and anything in between.

Perhaps the best example of video games taking the mainstream are in the form of viral games, like Among Us, a game originally launched in 2018, gaining mass popularity as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. 

“I think they are fun for people who don’t really want to dedicate a lot of time and energy to learning games with high skill curves,” Senior and former Esports club member Kathryn Murray said. Compared to something ultra competitive like Counter-Strike, games like Fall Guys, a cartoon game about surviving wipe out-esque challenges with friends can be much more approachable and simple to general audiences.

“There is a time and a place for just doing things for enjoyment and I think those types of games cater to people who just want to kill time,” Murray said, enjoying more structured, competitive games like the ones played in the club. 

Overall, Esports club provides it’s members with an opportunity to hone their skills in a competitive game environment, in contrast to some of the more lax and casual games that gain more mainstream popularity.