MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The K. White Jr. High School Esports club ranked second in its league, with two eighth grade students ranking in the top five players nationwide.
In their first year as a campus club, a group of 12 students competed nationally. Of those, four reached the championship match. Two eighth graders, Sean Salinas and Nicholas Ochoa placed 2nd and 5th in the competition, according to a release from Mission CISD.
Esports is a form of organized, competitive videogaming. The students competed against other students in their age group through Generation Esports, with students from KWJH playing in the Minecraft Middle School League.
The release stated that Salinas nearly fell off his chair when he found out he was ranked No. 2 in the nation.
“About 200 people around the world in junior high competed and for two people from my campus to have placed and me being one of them, it’s just incredible to me,” Salinas said in the release.
Ochoa said that more students should take part in Esports.
“It’s really fun and I do recommend that more campuses and students should take advantage of it,” Ochoa said in the release.
Their coach, KWJH computer science teacher Israel Martinez, said that this recognition could have an impact on the Esports scene in the entire valley.
“It’s not something I expected in our first year, but now we’re number two in the entire country so it’s a huge boost to Esports in not only the district, but the entire Rio Grande Valley,” said Martinez. “I think with his kind of national recognition, parents are going to see what our District is doing and they’re going to want to send their kids here. I do think Mission CISD is in the font lines of this so the future is bright here for Esports.”