Poly’s eSports Team Rockets to Finals

In its first year, Poly’s eSports team reached the High School eSports League (HSEL) Rocket League finals in June. They were among 334 total Rocket League teams competing this season. HSEL includes more than 3,000 schools and over 80,000 students competing each year both around the country and in parts of Canada.

“The team we lost to, Ridgewood High School in New Jersey, has apparently gone undefeated for what is now three seasons,” said eSports Coach Michael Rosenberg, who is also an Audio/Visual and Tech Support Specialist at Poly. “We played well, though, and I couldn’t be more proud of how our team did. Through the normal season we went 13/4.” Poly’s eSports program is run by Rosenberg and Pasquale Cioffi, Network and Systems Manager, who is coach of the Super Smash Bros. team.

Michael Rosenberg
Mike Rosenberg

“Rocket League was only one of the eSports we ran this season, but was definitely our most successful,” Rosenberg said. “Our Counter Strike team, unfortunately, didn’t make the playoffs, but still did really well achieving 25th place.” They competed against more than 300 teams nationwide. 

Joel Lovell '22
Joel Lovell ‘22

Joel Lovell ‘22 explained, “eSports competition is where players from a game come together in private servers or ‘digital rooms’ to see who’s the better player, typically in best of fives.”

Lyons "Mick" Snider '22
Lyons “Mick” Snider ‘22

“The highlight of my eSports year,” said Lyons “Mick” Snider ‘22, “was probably when we won our first playoff game. This was the moment that I realized that we were actually pretty capable of taking on very strong teams.” He added, “I think the most surprising thing is how much you need to practice to be a good player. I have played Rocket League for years to get to where I am today, and I know that is also true for my teammates. If you want to be the best you have to put in many hours and have good teamwork and communication.”

Pasquale Cioffi
Pasquale Cioffi

“The hope for the 2020-2021 school season in competitive Super Smash Bros. eSports is to build on what was started this past season,” said Cioffi, “with the hope of providing students a more detailed breakdown of their gameplay styles, as well as more online practices so that it can further students’ expectations for when they compete online against rival schools in future eSports matches. For these students to take away from their experience in eSports, is that just one more example of working hard and being consistent, will reward progress and foster new friendships with others that share the same passions throughout life.”