AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – In a recently published article regarding this year’s sanctioning of several esports competitions by CHSAA, FOX31 highlighted the state championship-winning effort of the Rocket League team from Cherry Creek High School.

In addition to Rocket League, the vehicular soccer-styled video game, another esport that’s been approved for competition by CHSAA is the globally popular League of Legends.

The now four-time title winners in this specific competition, which include titles won during CHSAA’s three-year esports-trial period, hail from Aurora’s Grandview High School.

The winners are:

  • Henrik Nguyen 
  • Jacob Weir 
  • Ryan Tran 
  • John Lim 
  • Ryan Wong 
  • Austin Nguyen 
  • Chase Irby 
  • Austin Darnell 
Grandview HS Champions in League of Legends competition
Grandview High School Champions in League of Legends competition
(Credit: CHSAA / Brad Cochi)

FOX31 reached out to the coach of the state championship-winning Grandview High School League of Legends team, Carlos Nevares, to learn more about this specific sport and how his school’s team is making waves in the esports world.

Grandview High School’s title-winning approach

In addition to highlighting the importance of teamwork, Nevares told FOX31 that one of his goals is to get high school communities to “treat the sport with dignity.”

“I want to unlock my students’ potential,” Nevares said while describing how these types of competitions can help spark drive in children in the same way that other widely accepted CHSAA-sanctioned sports do.

Nevares said that esports are the fastest-growing after-school activity in the nation. It is undeniably providing an option for students to add to their high school experience, who may otherwise not find an activity to participate in while in high school.

Coach Nevares and his prolific squad have been rather consistent during the last four title competitions, taking home the winning trophy at every tournament that’s been held among participating schools since 2021.

FOX31 understands that League of Legends may be a competition that sits outside of the average sports watcher’s wheelhouse, so here is a brief breakdown of how the recently CHSAA-sanctioned game is played.

League of Legends 101

Understanding the sport played by roughly 117 million people monthly is the first step toward giving this esport the air of respect advocates feel it deserves.

League of Legends, which is known to its most avid users simply as “League,” is a fast-paced battle between two teams of five in an arena video game that requires quick, critical thinking and is the most popular esports game in the world.

For those trying to grasp what “League” is, its developers at Riot Games took inspiration from early-generation World of Warcraft installments to create a game that simultaneously tests an individual’s skill level in taking on a single opponent while at the same time supporting teammates across the in-game map.

League of Legends – 2020 Worlds Semi-Finals: Day 1
(Credit: Getty Images)

To put it curtly, the aim of each team playing a game is to break the nexus of the other team first.

Each player on a team is assigned to an area on the map and must defeat the player-controlled champions of the opposing team that is in that same area. Once a team is able to eliminate an opposing team’s players and enters the opposing team’s base, they then break the nexus and claim a match victory.

What’s next for CHSAA-sanctioned esports

In the spring, the two sanctioned competitions for the season are Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers. Nevares said tryouts for the Grandview squads in both of these competitions will be held sometime in January.

The next chance that the League of Legends team from Grandview High School will be able to defend their title run will land in the fall of 2023.

That’s when those who are keeping an eye on the fastest-growing high school sport in the country will know if there is a dynasty holding onto the League of Legends CHSAA titles.