The Student Newspaper of Oxford Academy

The Gamut

The Gamut

The Gamut

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OA Esports is back in the game

Esports has returned to Oxford for the 2023-2024 school year — this time, as a CIF-certified team. The revival of the once-dormant club was initiated and led by freshman Benson Tran, under the advisory of Oxford’s ASB Technician Xavier Barnett.

Tran stepped up to reignite the club after noticing its loss in student interest and activity after the pandemic. 

“I heard the president’s spot was opening this year, so I didn’t hesitate to sign up, because I am very passionate about Esports and want to see the club thrive,” said Tran.

Barnett, who shared Tran’s passion towards gaming, took the opportunity with open arms to advise the club and guide him through the procedure necessary to revive it.

“Mrs. Houston came into my office…[and asked] if I was interested. I’ve been gaming since I was five, so it was an easy yes for me,” said Barnett.

Due to its previous inactivity, the revival was a complicated process, as Tran, Barnett, and other Esports board members found themselves back at square one of the club creation process.

In preparation for club rush, Barnett devised the team met to prepare for months before formally presenting the club to general Oxford students. At the hand of their efforts, the club amassed over 160 student sign-ups during the first semester’s club rush. 

Esports is increasingly becoming recognized as a sport for the precision, speed, and skill required to compete. Universities like UCI offer players thousands in athletic scholarships; the transition is already seen taking place as Oxford Academy will be joining numerous high schools to compete in the CIFs with games like Smash Bros and Rocket League. Though Esports deviates from traditional sports seen in play, the increase in recognition for it provides space for individuals to explore different branches of hobbies and interests. 

To prepare for the CIF tournament, OA Esports is actively organizing and training teams in games like Smash Bros as Varsity members compete online. Freshman Mason Nguyen, OA Esports’ historian, adds that they are working to incorporate the widest variety of games possible into practice sessions, including plans to purchase a Minecraft server. 

Even as the team practices hard for competitions, however, OA Esports is also planning a variety of other activities throughout the school year for members’ enjoyment.

Tran reveals the club’s plans to host student game nights, open after-school gaming sign-ups, and campus-wide Esports tournaments in the future to encourage members to stay active in OA Esports even after the CIF games come to an end. He adds the board’s hopes to include junior high students, who are prohibited from participating in the CIFs, in club activities.

With its initial success in attracting members, Esports holds high aspirations as they strive to keep the club active across the OA student body throughout the year. 

“I hope that we’re able to win, but I also hope that we’ll be able to lift this club off the ground. A more active Esports could convince other grades to join in,” said Nguyen.

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Your donation will support the student journalists of Oxford Academy. Your contribution will allow us to cover our annual operational costs and website hosting. Thank you for your support!

About the Contributors
Audrey Lee
Audrey Lee, Staff Writer
Audrey Lee is a freshman joining the Gamut as a staff writer. She joined Gamut with a love for literature, wanting to experience what it is like being a student journalist. She is also very excited about Gamut events like Secret Santa and the OCJEA competition. One of her favorite pastimes is reading, with Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand as one of her favorite books of all time. She is also passionate about volleyball and has even earned a spot on the Oxford Varsity volleyball team. Despite being one of the youngest members on the team, she feels like there is no barrier between her and her upperclassmen teammates; something that she loves about this team is that they are all very encouraging and they let her know that she can make an impact in the team regardless of her age. Besides practicing volleyball or reading, Audrey tends to be active in the OASIS club and hopes to join more clubs this school year.
Celine Park
Celine Park, Staff Writer
Celine is a freshman staff writer and is eager to learn more about the world through participating in the Gamut. Encouraged by the Mrs. Galvan to join the paper, it’s no secret Celine is a terrific writer, and she even plans to pursue journalism to some capacity in the future. Furthermore, she is a diehard fan of Taylor Swift and has been ever since 3rd grade. And, of course, Celine went to the Eras tour, thoroughly enjoying it to the point she started sobbing. Although Celine has a great taste in music, she also has pretty controversial and (objectively, if you will) bad takes, despising both pickles and dark chocolate. As for her bucket list, she hopes to befriend everyone in her grade (Class of ‘27 is not ready for her.) and, of course, take a photo with Taylor Swift.
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