Esports club receives $17,000 worth of funding for new equipment


Justis Walker

The new PC’s in the computer lab.

By Aidan Sadovi, Managing Editor

Sandwiched between the more usual purchase orders for physical therapy and prom expenses at the Jan. 20 Lane LSC (Local School Council) meeting was an eye-catching figure: around $17,000 to Lane’s esports club for new equipment in the form of gaming computers and monitors. 

Esports, or video gaming as a competitive activity, is an organization at Lane that has been steadily growing in popularity since its inception five years ago. 

Lane’s program currently has around 60 members who compete against schools across the state in popular video games including Rocket League, League of Legends, Fortnite, Valor and Super Smash Bros. 

This new equipment, according to president Justis Walker, was a long time coming. 

“We’ve been talking about this for the last two years,” he said. Walker said sponsor and science teacher Patrick Davey “went to work” to lobby for the new equipment.  

According to Walker, the club’s previous equipment was lackluster: “Little mini PCs” that were slow to operate and about the size of a notebook. 

“If we’re going to be able to get anywhere we need to have some good equipment,” Walker said.

“We’ve always been winning,” he continued. “But this will help us be able to come together as a group and play our tournaments at school rather than having to do them at home.” 

The purchase was unanimously approved by LSC members on Thursday the 20th, but not without support from Principal Edwina Thompson and the Lane LSC, who approved the $15,909.90 purchase of computers and $1,087.07 for monitors. 

Principal Edwina Thompson said during the LSC meeting that the money was “not too much to ask for to get the program off-the ground.” 

Thompson highlighted how excited the team was to receive the long-awaited new equipment. Other LSC members spoke of students nationally who have received lucrative college scholarships from excelling in esports during the meeting. 

Another LSC member said that the team “has been meeting for a few years and has never asked for anything.” 

“I am insanely grateful that we were able to get these types of funds, because not a lot of schools are able to get this,” Walker said. “There’re many schools on the Southside that don’t even have basic chromebooks. … that don’t have the technology they need to function well.” 

The club has also moved into a computer lab on the third floor, which is already being furnished with some of the newly arrived and eagerly awaited PC’s. 

“As president,” Walker said, “I can say we definitely needed this.”