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WHS Esports Team Brings Home TWO State Championships


Students pose for group photo.

For the first time ever, a Wylie Esports team won a state championship -- but it doesn’t end there! They recently won not one, but TWO state titles!

Wylie High School’s Esports team, Miniondiff, won the League of Legends and Mario Kart championships.

“Esports is a competitive competition between teams that play video games,” senior Drew Neurwith, the club president, said. “That’s esports at its core.”

The first team, League of Legends, defeated Allen 2-0 to secure the state champion title Dec. 14.

“They made a huge comeback in that final match against another 6A juggernaut powerhouse,” Esports Coach Jeremy Stout said. “They were behind, then their grit and composure won that match. They said ‘not today, Allen’ then for the next 15 minutes straight --  it was all Wylie.” 

Players on the League of Legends roster are Ben Brannick, Chris Brannick, Drew Neuwirth, Harrison Cummings, Laura Duckett and Chris Haskins.

The Mario Kart team played in the state championship the following day and won that title as well.

Players on the Mario Kart roster are Oliver Toro, Noah Wester, Grace McNeill and Riley Boles.

Students play video game. Students play video games.

The teams’ success dates back to middle school when they started playing together.

“Easily the best thing about this club is how connected it all feels,” Neurwith said. “Even though we all play different games and have different school backgrounds, we come together and feel like we’re the most coordinated team out there.”

Both squads had undefeated seasons. It’s not just the sit-down play that took these teams to the top. They also spend hours researching the game, studying analytics, and watching the other teams they play against.

“The game itself changes every week,” senior Ben Brannick said. “Some characters are stronger than others. We research what items are strongest and what the best strategy is.”

Stout says like any sport, Esports can be physically fatiguing.

“They use a big amount of muscles, most of all, the mental muscle in their brain,” Stout said. “They have milliseconds to make decisions. You don’t have to be the most physically fit person, but you have to make sure you’re holistically able to keep up. This is no easy task. The amount of effort to review VODs, strategize, execute under pressure, work as a team, run through analytics and communicate takes an extreme amount of attention and focus.” 

The team also wants to give credit to junior Harrison Cummings for being an understudy.

“He scrimmaged with the Overwatch team,” Neuwirth said. “He practiced for the Mario Kart team to be available to sub in. He really helped us out. He stepped in during playoffs.”