Missouri Esports Athlete Nick Porter Is Hyped For League of Legends
After some time away, Porter’s teammates instilled in him a renewed love of the game.
Ever since ESPN labeled two Missouri colleges among the top 25 esports programs in the country, interest at the high school level has picked up across the state. PlayVS partners with the Missouri High School Esports Association so that schools like Liberty Hill High can have an esports program, where athletes like Nick Porter can discover the skills and teamwork required to become a better League of Legends athlete.
“Our team has given me players to look up to, and a reason to better myself at the game,” he said. “Becoming ranked was never really an incentive to get better, but our esports team has renewed my interest and joy in becoming a better competitive gamer.”
The 18 year-old admits that playing casually was starting to feel isolating, but that the opportunity to learn from his coach and connect with new teammates lit the fire of competition in him that had been waning for some time. Porter admitted to battling a small bout of ‘Senioritis’ since getting a part-time job, but being looped into team activities had the added bonus of motivating him to stay tethered at school.
“On game night I get home, eat a piece of fruit, go for a jog and listen to ‘Love Shot’ by EXO to get myself ready,” he said.
And, having an opportunity to stream matches in PlayVS competition alongside other Missouri high schools on Twitch has been another motivator – especially, he says, because covid-19 has created more time indoors than he could have ever imagined. And like many of his peers, Porter started streaming LoL several years ago, but this season is just different.
“I have been watching esports since I first started playing 5 years ago. This season has helped me improve, understand the meta and support a team,” said Porter. “The competitive aspect of the game is what makes it fun; esports just brings out all the good competition.”
The Liberty Hill team regularly reviews footage of its matches as a course of understanding how players can find their niche. With LoL being a highly strategic game that forces multiple counter-moves to team tactics, going back through their film sessions allows Porter and his teammates to work on team chemistry alongside individual maneuvers.
To make it onto one of Missouri’s prestigious college teams, a player like Porter would probably have to reach the Platinum tier of Riot Games’ official rankings – which just 11% of its 11 million players manage to do.
While that may not be his ultimate goal, the opportunity to win a match on a Twitch broadcast is enough to keep Porter coming to practice.
“This has been a chance to re-spark my love for the game,” he said. “And I feel like my teammates’ love for the team and the game really brings us together in a unique way.”
For more information on high school League of Legend competition at PlayVS, check out our guide to the different ways your school can play.