Brophy Prep becomes first AIA Esports state champion

After a false start last year that delayed the debut of the new Esports League for Arizona high school students, the inaugural season is finally in the books.

That delay may have helped the Brophy Prep teams better prepare for the start of the season since they left the games last Friday with a sweep of both the Rocket League and League of Legends to become the state’s first AIA State Champion.

The Broncos went undefeated through the playoff schedule for the Rocket League, taking down the Valley Christian HS team for the title, and then managed to come from behind to win the League of Legends title with a victory over Higley High School.

It was August of 2018 when the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), the state’s governing body for high school sports, announced the addition of Esports to the prep sports calendar. The idea was to give those students who don’t participate in the ‘traditional’ sports a chance to vie for a state championship through Esports.

Organizers tried to get the program up and running for a debut on the 2019 spring sports calendar. Instead, it was announced in early March that the first season would have to be delayed to give every school a chance to make the necessary arrangements to be able to compete.

The AIA partnered with HSEL and Legacy Esports to take care of registration, scheduling, and hosting the servers used by the participating schools.

Jason Krell, in an article posted on AZPreps365, gave a good recap of the activity of the history-making first season. He sounds like a man who understands gaming.

About the best-of-seven Rocket League series…

“Brophy produced so many opportunities (in the Rocket League win) with aggressive play that overwhelmed Valley Christian’s team. (Jack “Jman”) Munhall or Allen Wallen repeatedly scored within the first minute of multiple games and successfully kept the ball on their opponent’s side of the field.”

About the best-of-three Legend League series, in which Brophy lost the first game, but was able to recover for the win…

“According to (Brophy) top-laner, Hugh QuantumChief” Gallagher, the team’s initial plan to draft comfort picks didn’t give them the synergy needed to win. Instead, Ammon “Darthsteele” Lee Steele ran all over them, raining down damage with his Gangplank’s Cannon Barrage ability.

“In Game 2, Gallagher avoided early pressure from Higley after succumbing earlier in the series. Once mid-laner, Eli “Cubeyy” Toelle helped his team get ahead with some clutch roaming. Gallagher’s Modrekaiser beat his opponents down repeatedly.

“While Higley continued trying to force mistakes, their attempts to make plays across the map couldn’t overcome Brophy’s success in team fights.”

The Esports program has been set up with two seasons each year, so Brophy will soon get a chance to defend its title. The sport’s spring season isn’t far off.

(Photo: Jason Krell/AZPreps365)