School E-Sports: Call Of Duty: Ghosts At Fairmont High School

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 8 April 2014
Category: Features Comments View Comments


At another school's challenge in Cape Town young gamers at Fairmont High School finished off the first term by competing in a Call Of Duty: Ghosts tournament for prizes and the chance to represent their school in future competitions.

School E-Sports: Call Of Duty: Ghosts At Fairmont High School

On the last day of the first term Fairmont High School in Durbanville, Cape Town, held a gaming challenge for interested students, once again hosted by Clint O'Shea of Zombiegamer, who ran the successful Fairbairn College FIFA 14 tournament a few weeks ago and originally started the entire schools initiative via a test run at Fairmont High School at the end of last year.

School E-Sports: Call Of Duty: Ghosts At Fairmont High School

This event featured Call Of Duty: Ghosts on Xbox 360 and 29 players competed (all the parents gave written consent for their kids to take part). The day was organised by Elize Crouse, the school's Computer Applications Technology teacher, who set up a gaming society at the school earlier this year to which over 100 pupils - both girls and boys - belong. Unfortunately at this end-of-term event only boys entered and, once again, I was curious to find out some of the reasons why this might be the case.

Elize told me that only one girl had been interested in competing but decided not to when she found out she would be the only one. A number of girls belong to the school's gaming club but they tend to be PC gamers, rather than console gamers, so that puts them at a disadvantage in these kinds of tournaments. I am also beginning to suspect that girls are less interested in competing and are more interested just in playing.

School E-Sports: Call Of Duty: Ghosts At Fairmont High School

So, while the lack of girls was disappointing to me the event was still lots of fun and by the last couple of rounds was being run with military precision by Clint as he assigned gamers to their seats and ran the winners' and losers' brackets.

The tournament was run as a double elimination event featuring up to eight gamers per round, which means that in each round the top four scorers of each winners'-bracket match stay there and the bottom four drop to the losers' bracket, where they have to continue to do well and stay in the top four of the losers' bracket, over successive rounds, in order to remain in the tournament. The rest of the players in each losers'-bracket match eventually drop out of the tournament entirely. Once the winners' bracket and losers' bracket are down to four players each the final is held to determine the winner.

School E-Sports: Call Of Duty: Ghosts At Fairmont High School

The kids were given two minutes of setup time before each 10-minute match commenced and this turned out to be one of the most fascinating parts of the day. I'm used to watching adult e-sports players jump in and rearrange weapons and specialities in a few seconds and then go straight to the game. The kids, on the other hand, made the most of their two minutes to ensure that they picked the right character (a number chose female characters, which was great to see) and to customise the gear, clothing, and colours, most of which makes no difference to gameplay and is purely about aesthetics.

School E-Sports: Call Of Duty: Ghosts At Fairmont High School

All the matches were Free For All (deathmatch) events, and kicked off on the Warhawk map. These matches determined the winners' and losers' brackets. During the first few rounds the kids were very quiet and serious as they fought to determine where they ranked among their school friends. Some of the competitors were notably experienced players but others were trying out the game for the first time, and quickly got themselves up to speed. As the day continued and the players began to relax the mood in the room lightened considerably as everyone started to enjoy the experience.

School E-Sports: Call Of Duty: Ghosts At Fairmont High School

The second round featured the losers' bracket, now comprising two groups, playing on the Octane map, with the losers from each group falling out of the tournament. The two groups comprising the winners' bracket then also played their matches on Octane and the bottom players dropped to the losers' bracket.

The round after that featured another losers' bracket match on the Strikezone map. This is a very small map that takes place in and around a baseball stadium but it features some lovely location-design work. Once again the top four players stayed in the bracket and the other four were eliminated from the tournament. After that the winners' bracket played a match on the map, after which four people dropped to the losers' bracket.

School E-Sports: Call Of Duty: Ghosts At Fairmont High School

The next round was another for the losers' bracket, which was played on Sovereign, a map based in a tank factory. The round after that featured the losers' bracket semifinal round on Prison Break, which takes place around the exterior of a prison, in a jungle, and is a big map with some great lighting design under the trees.

School E-Sports: Call Of Duty: Ghosts At Fairmont High School

The losers' bracket final was played on Freight. Once again the losers of this match were out of the tournament but the winners were now, finally, and after what had been quite a long day, sent back into the winners' bracket for the tournament final and a second chance to prove themselves.

It was back to Warhawk for the final but this time the match was extended to 20 minutes to put the gamers' playing skills, and ability to focus for an extended period of time, under pressure. Ultimately Matthew Levengood won, with 112 kills, with Grant Cerff placing second, Grant Finney placing third, and Connor De Groote placing fourth.

School E-Sports: Call Of Duty: Ghosts At Fairmont High School

Matthew, a grade 10 learner, and Conner, Ethan Eagles, and Sinjen Bourn (all grade 8) formed Fairmont's Call Of Duty team, with Matthew as captain, which went on to compete at this past weekend's Call Of Duty: Ghosts MWEB GameZone Master Series Cape Town LAN. This was the team's first tournament and it did well, coming first in its group, but unfortunately fell out of the tournament in the knock-out stage.

School E-Sports: Call Of Duty: Ghosts At Fairmont High School

Fairmont High School is now scheduled to meet Fairbairn College next week in Cape Town's first inter-schools event. Each school is furnishing one team of four players and will be competing in FIFA 14 at MWEB's MCave (or, perhaps, "neutral ground"). It's sure to be an exciting event.

Visit Zombiegamer for Clint's roundup of the day and Zombiegamer's Facebook album for more photos.

Tags: #cape_town, #games

On The Internet
Fairmont High School: Official Site, Facebook, Twitter

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