MHS Esports holds open house showcasing new gaming space | News, Sports, Jobs

TR PHOTO BY NICK BAUR Community members toured the newly completed MHS Esports game room at Marshalltown High School on Monday night. There, students will be able to participate in competitive gaming events in the near future.

Community members gathered at Marshalltown High School on Monday night to take a peek at the newly completed MHS Esports game room.

Part of the team’s first season at MHS, the completed game room became something of a milestone for fledgling extracurriculars who found a permanent home in high school.

“Honestly, having our own area is like having your own soccer field to go to practice,” said esports coach Jose Ramirez. “Having their own space to come in is definitely a lot of fun. It’s about keeping them out of the way.”

After almost a year in the making, the classroom was completely transformed from an empty space to a full game hub for students. 12 of his PCs, 2 large flat screen TVs, bobcat and gaming themed decorations throughout.

“When we first started out here with nothing but chairs and tables, it’s now wide open,” said fellow esports coach Andrew Kreesman. “We added furniture and such, so it’s more lively.”

With teams for Varsity, JV, and club level players, MHS Esports has seen a significant number of students step through the door of their game room and become interested in joining the organization . Whether you’re a hardcore gamer, a beginner, or somewhere in between, Ramirez says the highlight of this season has been seeing all these types of students fall in love with the sport. .

“One of my highlights is honestly watching these kids compete,” Ramirez said. “Some of these kids have never seen them participate in sports, and some of them don’t want to be physically active.”

Ramirez also reported that both are flourishing within MHS esports teams, as many games in esports often rely heavily on team dynamics and interpersonal relationships.

“Some of them probably hadn’t seen each other in the hallway or hadn’t seen each other and didn’t interact much,” Ramirez said. ‘Hey, let’s play with this’ or ‘Let’s play together on the weekend. We are definitely watching that. It’s very nice. “

The MHS Overwatch team currently holds a 3-2 winter season record as part of the Iowa High School Esports Association (IAHSEA) league, with wins against established programs in Williamsburg and Davenport. is included. So far, as Claseman pointed out, the new program is off to a better start than expected.

“I’ve been doing pretty well between practice and games. I think I’m doing pretty well,” Classman said. “Some teams in our division are really tough. [team]I think it’s going to be a tough match, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes. ”

With the Overwatch team wrapping up the season, MHS Esports will transition to playing Mario Kart in the spring, giving students another chance to take on teams from across the state. Klaesmann said he also plans to bring in Amber Lawthers, MCC’s national champion of Mario Kart, and MHS alumnus, to give guidance to the team before the season begins.

The highlight of the evening was the community and admin support for the program. This not only created teams, but also created a state-of-the-art game room where many students spend hours after school competing against their peers. As Ramirez puts it, it was almost “overwhelming” at times.

“It was definitely phenomenal,” Ramirez said. “Honestly, we had a lot of support from the community. I had a meeting with them, even from the league (IAHSEA), which surprised me. No. No one said, “No, I don’t think we should do this.”


Contact Nick Baur at 641-753-6611 or

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