OBHS game team out to be Legends

Otago Boys’ High School eSport gamers Sam Thompson (left) and Max Lough (both 15) prepare for tonight’s  match against Cashmere High School. Absent: Team members Matthew Kinley (15), Joseph McKee (15) and Ben Walls (17). Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Otago Boys’ High School eSport gamers Sam Thompson (left) and Max Lough (both 15) prepare for tonight’s match against Cashmere High School. Absent: Team members Matthew Kinley (15), Joseph McKee (15) and Ben Walls (17). Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Stretching fingers, shaking tension out of necks and shoulders, and throwing a few well-placed jabs, just for good measure - it's all part of the Otago Boys' High School eSport team's warm-up.

The five-member team will take on Christchurch's Cashmere High School in a fast-paced, competitive online game called League of Legends tonight.

They are among the first New Zealand teams to have their High School League matches aired live online by the New Zealand eSports Federation.

President Ben Lenihan said the growing popularity of New Zealand's national High School League had prompted organisers to start broadcasting the competition live on the internet.

More than 100 million people play every month around the world, he said.

The games are aired on www.letsplay.live at 6pm on Mondays (North Island teams) and Tuesdays (South Island teams).

About 50 teams from around the country, including from Taieri College and Kavanagh College, will appear on the weekly live broadcasts until the competition finishes on June 9.

Mr Lenihan said the competition had been running for five weeks, and to date, the schools at the top of the table were Avondale College, Mt Albert Grammar, Mt Roskill Grammar, Western Heights High School, Rangitoto College, Wellington College and Burnside High School.

It gave pupils a chance to use their love for video gaming to build teamwork, sportsmanship, social connections, strategic thinking, break down barriers and focus on their course-work.

He said the live broadcasts were run by Computer Power Plus students and included aspiring ''shout-casters'' looking to ''make their big break'' in eSports commentating.

Mr Lenihan said it was really important it be a student-led initiative, to help build the capability of the industry.

Computer Power Plus students and external volunteers were helping with the administration, broadcasting and logistical support of the league, he said.

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