La Quinta Nets CIF Championship in esports

LQ students with championship plaque

La Quinta High School’s varsity esports club team, la pomme de terre, defeated the defending California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) champion Sunny Hills Lancers Gold team to win the California CIF League of Legends esports tournament earlier this month. The winning team includes students Minh Pham, Andy Luong, Jake Van, Lary Nguyen, and Khoa Pham, under the leadership of teacher and team advisor Ms. Terry Nguyen.

“Congratulations to these students for this tremendous accomplishment that took not just skill but communication and teamwork,” said GGUSD Board of Education member Bob Harden. “The Aztecs have formed a strong esports program and will undoubtedly compete for many more championships in the years to come.”

The victory in the championship match was the pinnacle of the 16-team tournament which also saw pomme de terre defeat teams from Northview, Harvard-Westlake, and Troy High Schools.

The La Quinta Blue Team, which represented the esports club in the JV tournament was the second seed in the 64 team Pacific League of Legends tournaments and marched all the way to the final match where they ultimately fell to Irvine High School.

League of Legends Developed by Riot Games, is a team-based competitive game mode based on strategy and outplaying opponents. Teams consist of 5 players, each playing a specific role but working together to break the enemy Nexus before the opposing team breaks theirs. 

Given the game’s complexity that involves high-level strategy and technical gameplay, students are required to critically think about how to beat the enemy in front of them, while also keeping in mind the macro-level objectives. This requires students to constantly communicate, collaborate, and lead each other throughout the game in hopes of bringing the team to victory.

In March of 2020, CIF announced that esports would officially be considered a high school sport.