The Giants e-sports team brought home their third state championship last weekend!
The Marion High School e-sports team showed undeniable dominance in the Super Smash Brothers Ultimate competition, held May 14 at the Bendix Arena in South Bend.
In round one, the undefeated Giants took on Kankakee Valley High School, earning victory with a final score of 10 to 5. Marion then battled it out with Mooresville High School during the championship round, ending with a nail-biting final score of 8 to 7.
“The team really clicked well and had great communication through the season,” said Travis Hueston, head coach of the Giants e-sports program and instructor for the Marion Regional Career Center IT and Cybersecurity Academy. “Winning isn’t just about how many points you score but how well your team works together.”
The members of the Giants’ Super Smash Brothers squad that competed in the finals last weekend are: Joseph Cheung, Darren Rankins, and Cordell Wells, all Marion High School juniors; Connor Dyer, Alexandria Nikolulis, and Trenton Southern, all MHS sophomores; and Easton Emery and Caleb Huff, both MHS freshmen.
In addition to the state championship, Cordell Wells earned another honor from the Giants e-sports program: Player of the Year.
“Cordell is a wonderful young man,” Hueston said. “He is known in the surrounding area in the gaming world for his passion, skill, and risk-taking while playing the game. He is very deserving of this award.”
Cordell Wells, a Marion High School junior, shows off the Giants’ e-sports state championship trophy in front of the program’s trophy case at Marion High School. Cordell, a member of the Giants e-sports team’s Super Smash Brothers squad that won the state championship on May 14, 2022, was also named the program’s Player of the Year for the 2021-2022 e-sports season.
Giants e-sports offers opportunities for a wide range of students, both gamers and those interested in the businesses of e-sports marketing and broadcasting. E-sports teaches leadership, communication, perseverance, and determination, and with diversity, equity, and inclusion at our core, our team members form connections in ways they might not have thought possible. The team looks forward to building on these strengths for many years to come, as e-sports is on track to become a dominant sector within the sports industry and an integral part of the Indiana sports ecosystem.
“E-sports has grown and is continuing to grow across the world,” Hueston said. “In high schools, e-sports is popular because students are finding this outlet and latching on to it as they build relationships and community in this field. Additionally, colleges are seeing the benefits and the draw that these types of programs can have — and the career fields that grow out of them — and are now offering e-sports scholarships. It’s time that these athletes be taken as seriously as others are, especially after watching them perform at a high level.”
Marion Community Schools offers e-sports opportunities starting in fifth grade and culminating in high school, where the Giants practice and compete in the state-of-the-art Afena E-sports Arena at Marion High School. The program includes year-round activities and recruits school-wide.
Not only are the Giants notable competitors statewide, but Hueston also serves on the Indiana High School Esports Network Advisory Council, helping provide opportunities for students across the state. For the latest information about the Giants e-sports program, follow their Facebook page: facebook.com/MarionGamers