This month Emerald Esports kicks off a new series we call Senior Spotlight. In this series, we share the journey of a high school senior in the Emerald Esports community, from their first exposure to gaming to their current endeavors and the career direction they aim to explore post-graduation.
Our first senior “up to bat” is Avery English, a Lancaster Catholic High School student. He is a captain of their esports team, a catcher and third baseman for their baseball team, and a competitive chess player on their chess team. In addition to his extracurricular activities, Avery has dedicated many years of his young life to the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 16. During his time in scouts, he took on the role of troop historian, preserving Troop 16’s memorabilia. In June of 2020, he achieved Eagle Scout when he completed his project, restoring the St. Joseph Athletic Field storage trailer from its state of vandalism.
Avery began gaming at a young age, playing on the Nintendo Wii and Xbox consoles. Around 6th-grade, he took to playing Overwatch, a competitive esports game, on the Xbox with his cousin on the weekends. When Avery entered high school at Lancaster Catholic a few years later, the esports program was just getting started. In his sophomore year, he competed in Overwatch until the pandemic struck. Although everything seemed to stand still from schools shutting down, Avery turned this downtime into a productive opportunity to re-learn the game of Overwatch on a gaming PC. Tournaments didn’t always allow participants to compete across different systems or consoles. The PC is the standard system of choice for esports competitions. During this time, Avery kept the Overwatch team afloat with the help of another student. Avery would become the team captain and lead his team to compete in the new tournaments being held virtually.
Avery found himself drawn to the admin side of things through his time on the esports team. He enjoyed analyzing competitors on the competing teams, deciphering the gameplay to apply to strategies for future match-ups, and creating his “scorecards” to keep track of the strengths and weaknesses of teams and players. Avery’s ability to take data and formulate a strategic plan ahead of gameplay gave Lancaster Catholic High School a next-level edge up on the competition.
The experience Avery accrued has spilled over into opportunities with the PIEA, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Esports Association. Avery took a chance and reached out to this nonprofit and was given the opportunity to assist with a tournament. From that experience, he jumped headfirst into hosting a few months of tournaments for high school teams all on his own. His matches got noticed by the PIEA and eventually led to qualifiers for their Spring Fling Tournament. They have invited him to be a part of the tournament, and so far, he has helped with signups and created the schedule for the Overwatch competition. He will be doing channel moderation with some of the admins and keeping track of scores and standings for the playoffs. He is stoked to be a part of this upcoming event.
Avery’s high school days are numbered, and he will be walking off with his diploma on June 2nd. He has committed to Marian University in Wisconsin and will begin his next chapter in their Business Administration program. Avery said he chose Marian University because it felt like an extension of his high school, Lancaster Catholic, just bigger. He will continue his passion for data analytics and see where that directs his focus. With his skill set, he could enter any number of industries that need him to comb through a ton of information, spot trends, and build conclusions that ultimately will help their business, team, firm, etc., make better decisions.
Avery has a positive mindset and knows that home runs aren’t guaranteed with every at-bat. Those less-than-ideal at-bats will give you more data to adjust your swing or anticipate when the pitcher might throw it into your wheelhouse. His advice to others searching for their path in life is, “Put yourself out there. Sometimes the best things happen because you just go for it.” Well said, Avery, don’t stop swinging. Emerald Esports congratulates you on your accomplishments thus far and can’t wait to see you build your field of dreams.
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