Gunn Junior manages local eSports team

Josh Mei, Reporter

In his free time, Gunn eSports team manager Quinn Arbolante can be found organizing  and supporting Gunn students as they participate in competitive gaming tournaments. Despite not playing himself, Arbolante helped pioneer the community at Gunn, manages a recreational group of competitive players, and currently works to promote competitive video gaming at the high school level. Despite not having an officially chartered club, players can choose to compete in their individual games and platforms.

This project originated between a collaboration to build an Overwatch team with Paly student Benjamin Kong. Arbolante also credits seniors Nick Burton and Allen Ji as creators of the original eSports club, despite it eventually being shut down due to certain liability reasons, according to Arbolante.

Arbolante sees competitive play styles as much more engaging than the playstyles of casual fans. “Competitive play is a different kind of fun, and it’s for a different kind of person,” Arbolante said. “The community is really great. People who want to play competitive gaming are very interested in it”.

Arbolante cites lack of resources and admin support as the main problems he has come across. According to Arbolante, Gunn lacks the media outreach that Paly has, and not having an officially chartered club forces club outreach to be more interpersonal and limited. Many players even play under Paly’s name to accommodate Gunn administration’s policies.

Now, Arbolante focuses most of his attention on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. “[Smash] is a long lasting game with a deep history,” Arbolante said.“It’s a much different, much more skill-based and more individual game,” he said. He also is helping foster Rocket League, Osu! and CS:GO teams.

Abolante finds motivation in the friends and other like-minded gamers, and is optimistic about their futures in eSports. “Aron plays, Omar plays, Graham plays and I’m just here to make sure things go smoothly,” he said. “We’re here to stay”.