Dakota eSports in State Championships!

Interviews with the Dakota eSports Teams

Alessandro Romero, Staff Writer

The Dakota Rocket League team called the Rats and the Dakota League of Legends (LoLteam both played in State Championships where the Rats swept a 4-0 in matches and the  LoL team lost 2-0. The tournaments took place at the PlayVs League, the only varsity league for high school.  The team captains of each team and Coach Bilof reflect on the tournaments during several interviews. 


Andrew Deacon, Team Captain of the Rats’s perspective 

AR: What techniques did you team used in the tournament?  

AD: I would say that a major strength of our team in this past tournament was our ability to stay positive and stay in the game no matter what the situation. Good communication and team chemistry keep the team together against any opponent, where it is normally easy to get thrown off. Consistency is key when it comes to Rocket League, and that comes with communication and focus. 

AR: What techniques did opponents used in the tournament?  

ADOur opponents in the State Championship were definitely tough, however they decided to play more individual game, which definitely gave us the advantage. Solo plays just aren’t as strong as a good team play, so we came up on top. 

AR: How do you plan on continuing this new winning streak? 

ADIn our nationals tournament coming up, we intend to keep up this winning streak by staying together as a team and keeping our energy up until the game is done. It may be easy to fall apart when you start losing in this game, but in these quick 5 minute games anything can happen, and leads can change in an instant. We have to stay strong, stay resilient, and stay in focus the whole time. 

Captain Deacon believes consistency is key to be successful in Rocket League. The consistency comes from the focus and communication of the team. Focus and communication are achieved through staying positive and maintaining the team’s relationship with one another. This level of teamwork has helped the team beat other opponents who played as if they had no teammates. Captain Deacon hopes that their teamwork, positivity, focus, endurance, and strength will continue their winning streak in nationals.  


Captain Henry Huang, The LoL team’s viewpoints: 

AR: What techniques did you team used in the tournament? 

HHWe tried to practice strategies every Thursday that helped us get familiarity with our champs and each other.  My team and I tried to play every week so that we could work on the things together.  I would try to get people to talk with me before games about how we wanted to play. 

AR: What techniques did opponents used in the tournament? 

HHI played against them, but in all honesty, I have no clue how they viewed the game, we (my team and I) played with our strengths and together as a unit. 

AR: Is there anything that you would have done differently in the tournament to win? If so, what would that be? 

 HHGet better, the team we played was very good and it was the first time playing them and we lost.  However, it felt so surreal to win our semifinal match where we had lost to the in the previous 6 games before be beat them with a score in 2-1. 

AR: How will you plan to improve forward to win coming tournaments? 

HH  Keep grinding at the game before my spring season start and we will see if we can top our previous result.  Stay tuned! 

Captain Huang and his team practiced and prepared strategies for how they wanted to play in the tournament. The captain focused on his team acting together as a unit rather than focusing directly on opponents. Despite winning their semifinal, Captain Huang and his team hope to improve their overall skill and keep practicing to get better results.  


Coach Bilof’s Thoughts:  

AR What are the best qualities or techniques shown by all the teams in the tournaments? 

VB: For any team to be successful, teammates have to commit to each other and get as much game experience as they can. 

AR: How will you continue on coaching the teams? 

VB: I coach students through their struggles, or various communication and mental concerns that come up. 

AR: What more tournaments or other competitions will be participating in and when?  

VB: As of right now, our esports teams intends to play in a Nationals tournament that features teams across the country that won their respective state tournaments; we also plan to participate in another PlayVs league, while we continue to look for more opportunities. 

According to Coach Bilof, the teams have shown commitment and experience within the tournaments. To support their commitment and gains in experience, Coach Bilof guides his teams through struggles, communication concerns, and mental health concerns. With their commitment and personal coaching, they intend to go to a high-skilled National tournamentother PlayVs League, and beyond.  


The captains and Coach Bilof all believe that to be successful in a tournament requires a great deal of teamwork. Captain Deacon emphasizes to his team about the idea of consistency based on focus on communication. Captain Huang highlights that their team should keep on practicing. Coach Bilof reinforces all the ideas on their ideas of communication and gaining experience from every game. With these reflections on the tournament, they hope to improve and continue to put out their best ability in coming tournaments.