TENNERTON— In the hyper-competitive High School E-Sports League (HSEL), Buckhannon-Upshur High School’s Leviathan Gaming project has quickly established itself as one of the fastest growing programs in the nation. Last fall, the B-UHS E-Sports team finished in 6th place overall in HSEL’s national Call of Duty polls. Last fall’s run was only cut short by a loss to a highly touted Crestwood (Pennsylvania) high school, which entered the game as the No. 2 team in the nation.

It seems that their loss at the end of their fall season motivated the team to play even harder, like so far in the team’s spring season, Project Leviathan’s A-team, consisting of Joshua Gregory, Eddie Burnside, Kadien McDaniels, Cameron Ervin and Robert Debarr went 10-1 in the league.

The Leviathans have had a dominating start to the spring season, with Team A and Team B posting 2-0 starts in the first month of the season.

Last week, BU’s Project Leviathan Gaming A-Team added another accolade to its growing collection of honours, earning the right to play for a National Championship in the video game, Call of Duty: Vanguard. Head Coach Anthony McDaniels’ team battled their way to the Nationals after defeating the No. 9 ranked Maize South High School (Kan.) Mavs E-Sports team on Friday, April 22, per a final score of 3-2. The series, which aired on the Maize South High School team’s Twitch page, offers a look at some of the best quality and competition the HSEL has to offer. The back-and-forth affair was finally decided with a decisive fifth game, where a decisive Leviathan victory gave coach McDaniels’ team the series victory. The excitement these players can generate with their game, and the intensity and breakneck pace of the game is truly a sight to behold. If any readers have been hesitant to join or become an esports fan, there has never been a better time than the present. The sport, although relatively new, opens up new avenues for student-athletes to take advantage of and provides them with a platform for their exceptional talents.

With this win, this local boys team has secured an offer to compete on the big stage at the HSEL Call of Duty National Championship in May! Earning a shot at the title of top HSEL team in arguably the most popular video game franchise of the 21st century is an incredible accomplishment for a program still in its infancy. Time will tell if this group can continue their march towards a championship. However, one thing is certain, that this team’s legacy in establishing a successful esports culture for the students of Buckhannon-Upshur High School will not be soon forgotten.