Esports Adds Popular Game Title
Esports is growing each year, and so is the list of titles to play. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is one of two new games to the Esports lineup in New Mexico. It’s Nintendo’s most popular racing game.
“I played it a lot when I was younger, so it’s really nostalgic for me,” said Finn Griego of Del Norte High School.
“My first game was on the Wii and it was Mario Kart Wii,” said Tyler Yepa of Sandia High School.
Teams of 4 players take control of their favorite Nintendo character from a pool of 42 racers and everybody has a favorite.
“Dry Bones,” said Griego.
“Orange Shy Guy,” said Del Norte sophomore Gavin Tumlinson.
“I’m not going to lie, I’m a Luigi fan,” said Yepa.
Players then customize one of 41 carts before hitting the road. “The main goal of the game is to be the fastest, but there’s a lot of things you have to take into account in the karts that you use,” explained Griego. “So, it’s important to pay attention to the traction and the handling of your kart and the wheels.”
Schools go head-to-head on a randomized track with all different twists and turns and face off in 3 rounds of 6 races. Each player on a team receives points based on how they place in each race and the team with the most points after six races wins the round. The first team to win two rounds wins the match. It takes critical thinking and fast reflexes. “It does take a lot of skill to become a good Mario Kart player,” said Yepa.
“I like connecting with my friends here, it’s really fun,” said Tumlinson.
“You can make a lot of new friends, I know I’ve met so many new people,” said Griego. “I’m planning on getting a varsity jacket and a letter. I didn’t know I would get that opportunity, so it’s exciting.”
“My friends started playing games that I didn’t have so I came here, and I thought it was kind of fun,” said Tumlinson. “Our Esports coach said we could compete here, and I thought that could be really cool, it’s like actual sports. I thought maybe I could get a letter and letterman’s jacket and I actually can.”
Esports requires communication, teamwork and creativity, the same qualities needed if you’re on a field or court. This competition just happens to take place in a classroom on a computer. “Some people get scholarships for just playing video games, doing Esports,” said Yepa. “It brings me back to those people who say video games are not going to get you anywhere in life and look at it now.”