As we often like to say, without the players, coaches, and schools that make up the programs and competition on our platform, PlayVS is just a website. It's with this in mind that we try to shine a light on the people who make PlayVS everything it is and hear their perspectives on what esports is like for them and how it's impacted their lives.
We chatted with Peyton DeWeese, ADC for The Mount Vernon School (GA) League of Legends team. Peyton was kind enough to take a break from maining Jhin to articulate some of her feelings about esports and what she sees for her future in the space.
How did you first hear about esports at your school?
Like many other people in my generation, I have loved video games pretty much all of my life. My favorite titles as a little kid were Spore, Zoo Tycoon 2, Minecraft, and Super Mario Galaxy. To see competitive video games become a serious activity was such an exciting thing. This field has so many opportunities, for so many people.
What other extracurriculars were you involved with before esports?
I was involved in a lot of extracurriculars before esports, and I still am. I played soccer and tennis for some time, but I came to find that those activities weren’t really for me, so I got into theater. (Yes, I’m a theater nerd.) Along with that, I used to do a lot of cross country and track. I still enjoy playing musical instruments as well.
How would you describe your relationship with your teammates? Did you know one another before being on the esports team?
When I first joined, my friends for the most part were still doing cross country, however, I was in a theater production that ended sooner. So for a period of time I was a freshman surrounded by juniors and seniors, the majority of which I didn’t know. We became good friends, and I’m currently great friends with people in the class of 2020.
Were there any challenges you had to overcome in order to compete? Was your family supportive of you joining the team?
When I first joined, of course, I had never played League of Legends. The only other competitive game I played was Overwatch, and I didn’t really like that game at all. I had to grind to gain more experience of the game, and I watched a lot of guide videos. Focusing on a single role, ADC, really helped me learn the game quickly.
At first, my parents didn’t even know what esports was. But once they learned how competitive it is, they started to appreciate how awesome the League of Legends scene is and how it’s not all that different from traditional sports. The demand for attention, time management, resource management, and just overall mechanics make it a true game of skill — much like soccer, golf, or baseball. Additionally, League of Legends requires a lot of coordination and communication with teammates. What makes a game winnable? What do we prioritize? What do we avoid? These are all things a good player has to factor into how they play.
How would you say esports has impacted your life?
Well, I play a lot more League of Legends than I would have otherwise. As the only girl on the entire esports team for a while, I sort of became a little celebrity with the teachers and esports parents. My passion for video games grew stronger, so I built my own PC around Christmas. I’m currently thinking about esports as a possible career path. I’m thinking of possibly taking a break year to stream on Twitch to either kickstart a career in esports or just make money for college tuition.
What would you say to any student on the fence about joining?
Join! It’s a lot of fun and like any other sports team, you’ll get to bond with people and make new friendships. We need more underclassmen on our team, in particular. You’ll get first-hand look into the esports industry, which is very exciting. And, if it’s not for you in the end, that’s completely fine, too. It’s definitely worth trying!
We truly love to see students like Peyton find a home at their school through esports. We appreciate the time, Peyton, and we're looking forward to what the future holds for you.