With the continuing growth of competitive fighting games and esports in the United States and beyond, the pursuit of a career in these fields is becoming more viable every day. Even high schools such as Lambert High in Suwanee, Georgia are getting in on the action.
In this mini-documentary produced by well-known FGC cosplayer and competitor, Amanda “Romanova” Rose, she interviews a group of students from the Lambert High School Esports Club, who play competitive fighting games such as SoulCalibur VI, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and several others. In the video, they talk about how they got into competitive fighters as well as what they plan to do involving fighting games in the future, after graduation. Some of them also talk about how they balance their school life with the club activities, and what the goals of the team are in general.
I talked to Romanova about how and why she produced this video to highlight the Lambert High School Esports Club, and what the future might hold for these teens in the world of competitive gaming. You can watch the video and read the interview below.
Marcos “El Cubano Loco” Blanco: How and when did you come across this high school esports club in Suwanee?
Romanova: First of all, thank you for giving a chance to give these teens more exposure. They deserve it.
I came across the Lambert High School Esports Club by just attending my weeklies. Funny enough, my first encounter was their leader Ajax playing me at the Gwinnett Brawl weekly. He barely beat me, but popped off and I was like ‘Who is this young kid popping off like a maniac?’ He later came up and apologized for the excitement claiming he was actually a big fan of my streams and me playing DBFZ, and told me a bit about what they do (him and the team).
Their one member, Synebon, frequents my streams and was the one to officially invite me to come guest coach them. They have had a few people from our locals (like Max Blackwerk) come to give advice to help them get better at fighting games by sitting with their players individually and working on strengthening areas of their gameplay.
El Cubano Loco: Why did you choose to do this mini documentary on them in particular? What made them stand out and strike a chord with you?
Romanova: I chose to do this because there is always content being pumped out in the FGC and it’s amazing, but you don’t get to see too many of these inspiring tales. This may not inspire most people but seeing what these people were doing was so pure and heartwarming I wanted to share it with the FGC. I never had a team like this when I was younger. I know I would’ve felt so much better about being a nerd in high school if I had a group like this to kick it with for practices and gaming. I hope that it inspires other high schools to do the same. I know the other people who have come to coach them would agree also.
The way I did this all was using Twitch to raise the money to hire a videographer to come with me to interview them. I wanted it to be grassroots, but also good quality video. I also learned more about them while doing this doc, which made me end up including Ajax’s father in the video as well. I thought one of the most heartwarming things was seeing his dad say how his son was into esports so he ended up working on fight sticks and arcade cabs instead of cars with him and wouldn’t have it any other way. I really hope for the parents out there who see this video see how much it means to their children when they can support the hobbies their kids want to partake in, like gaming.
El Cubano Loco: Do you have any projects planned with them in the future? If so, what are they exactly?
Romanova: I do not currently have any future projects planned with them, but one big thing I’d love to do is this: some of them graduate next year, and it would be cool to raise money and send two of them to Evo next year if we could get a project going for it and to film their experience at Evo, since it will be their first time at an event of that grandeur. Another thing I’d love to do would be to send them to Combo Breaker, one of my personal favorite FGC events.
El Cubano Loco: Do these kids plan to grow their club into something bigger, and maybe branch out to compete at majors at some point as they mature?
Romanova: I think some of them want to continue to support each other even after they become alumni to the club. I really hope to see them come more often with time to the monthlies and weeklies as well. I see a lot of potential in them to grow as fighting game players as do my fellow players from the local scene here. I think the future looks bright for this group of teens.
Source: Romanova (YouTube)