TEWKSBURY — Tewksbury Memorial High School’s Esports team, REDMN, has earned a berth in the Massachusetts MSAA Rocket League state championships, set for Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. The 3 v. 3 Rocket League playoff series is a best of 7 games for teams participating at the high school level.
Rocket League is a 3-dimensional online soccer game of sorts where the "players" are personalized cars driven by the human players to do jumps and flips and other acrobatics with the purpose of scoring while defending your own goal. The TMHS team has seven student players: sophomore Peter Impink, senior Ryan Melo, junior Andy Harllaka, freshman Evan Festa, freshman Toffy Beyloune, senior Matthews Marques, and freshman Sean Carroll.
The top 16 teams of the regular season play in a playoff bracket; single elimination rules dictate teams must win four series successively.
For the TMHS team, a sub team played the regular season and advanced the team to the playoffs. By agreement, during the playoffs, team members will switch off as needed to cover the 7 games.
Competition is expected to be fierce as perennial powerhouse Shrewsbury has also advanced again to the championship. The TMHS REDMN team has played against David Prouty High School from Spencer, Nipmuc Regional High School in Upton, Sutton High School, Dartmouth HS, Shawsheen Tech Rams from Billerica, Burlington High School, and Montachusett Regional Vocational High School in Fitchburg during the season.
The team offers competitive, organized esports teams for League of Legends, FIFA, Madden and Rocket League games, all as part of high school play, and is always open to interested players.
Play is entirely virtual, with team members communicating by voice in Discord.
State playoffs will be "broadcast" from the perspective of the player. To watch the playoffs, visit the following channels on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
The TMHS esports team was started in early 2020 when a group of students advocated for its formation. Teacher Sanford Arbogast, who had some of the students in class, researched the sport and quickly found that Massachusetts had almost 40 teams at the time, and some schools even had multiple teams in the high school arena.
The team has worked consistently through the pandemic, as the remote nature of the game provides no in-person contact.