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As the 2023-24 school year wraps up, juniors prepare for college applications. Photo used with permission from Philippe Bout on Unsplash
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Justin Jackson, Staff Writer • April 11, 2024
Played in the Hornets home arena, Charlotte played host to first and second-round matchups including UNC vs. Michigan State.
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Mason Dean and Mason ClineApril 11, 2024
Brinley Zalc (’24) is #5 on the womens soccer team and defends against an opponent from Athens Drive. Photo used with permission from Brinley Zalc.
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Armaan Minhas, Staff Writer • March 22, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
Played in the Hornets home arena, Charlotte played host to first and second-round matchups including UNC vs. Michigan State.
March Madness recap
Mason Dean and Mason ClineApril 11, 2024
Brinley Zalc (’24) is #5 on the womens soccer team and defends against an opponent from Athens Drive. Photo used with permission from Brinley Zalc.
Spring sports: Start of season recap
Armaan Minhas, Staff Writer • March 22, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events

Weekend fun to massive funds: Valorant state championships

Green Hope’s Valorant team is awarded a $12,000 check after winning the North Carolina Esports State Championship

Lights shine bright, teams assume their positions and computers fire up. No this isn’t a Friday night football game, but instead a major North Carolina esports competition in Greensboro. When the dust settled at Koury Convention Center on Feb. 18, the Green Hope esports team was left hoisting up a check valued at $12,000 for winning the North Carolina 4A Valorant State Championship.

The Valorant team’s members had to prepare both individually and together for competition. Photo used with permission from Joshua Elbertson.

Green Hope’s Valorant A-team features team captain Dhruv Dhiran (‘24) along with Ryan Chen (‘24), Joshua Elbertson (‘24), Vishnu Boggala (‘24) and Anoo Prabhala (‘24). These five decorated seniors shared the prize money equally, yielding a $2,400 deposit for each member. They had to defeat formidable esport programs from Green Level, Ardrey Kell and Myers Park throughout the weekend to be deemed state champions.

The journey to this feat did not start on the weekend of Feb. 18; the Green Hope esports Valorant A-team has been putting in hours since the beginning of the school year, both individually and together as a team. Vishnu Boggala, a member of this championship team, discussed the process of practicing and playing qualifying rounds to reach the state level.

“We had a qualifying round in late November with two stages: open group games and playoffs. We dominated through the qualifying process, only losing 7 rounds out of 52 total, which means we qualified easily as one of the 8 teams throughout North Carolina,” Boggala said. After this competition, Boggala and his team implemented some more enhanced practice methods, especially with the entire squad. Boggala claimed that “once regionals came around, we practiced at the same time once a week, playing against competitive teams across the East region including college teams like the University of Virginia. Our biggest time commitment throughout this process was the individual practicing we did nearly every day.”

Valorant is a popular team-based first-person shooter video game. Photo used with permission from Joshua Elbertson.

Through the effort invested by each team member, Green Hope’s Valorant team was able to enjoy some incredible experiences on their way to the state championship. In regards to the trips with his team, Boggala revealed “competing in Greensboro was really fun and a new setting for all of us. Being up on a stage and having a crowd was incredible. I’ve also never played with a commentator before in games that were live streamed so listening to them talk about my performance after the games was surreal… having friends supporting us gave me and the rest of the team an incredible feeling.” During the Greensboro competition, the esports organization live-streamed all the games, allowing people from all over the world to tune in and watch.

Boggala and his team felt pressure playing in this high-stake tournament, especially as they approached the championship match. Boggala claimed, “There was definitely a lot of added pressure because there was so much money on the line. Valorant also naturally adds pressure to our performances because it is a team game and we all didn’t want to let down our teammates.” Despite this pressure, Boggala and his team were able to perform well. “Once we got going and realized how much better we were, we had so much confidence and didn’t fold from any pressure,” Boggala said.

Overwhelmed with excitement, adrenaline and shock, the team had a hard time believing their own accomplishment. “It was a crazy moment because we never thought we would make it this far. We didn’t practice as much as a lot of the other teams but we had great collaboration skills and the experience was incredibly fulfilling and rewarding.”

After celebrating their win on stage in front of hundreds of audience members and thousands more watching live at home, the team plans to take a short break from Valorant. However, the esports group has another competition in the spring, with a chance to compete again at the state level.

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About the Contributor
Justin Jackson, Staff Writer
Justin is a senior at Green Hope, and this is his first year as a Staff Writer. Being in the Math Honors Society, he enjoys tutoring other students struggling with the subject and with SAT prep. Justin hopes to continue his studies outside of high school, wanting to get an MBA in Business with a concentration in Finance. Additionally, Justin is a big part of the Green Hope community as he is a part of many organizations like Student Council, Falcon Frenzy, and on the board of Green Hope's DECA chapter. On top of that, he's also a player on the Men's Soccer and Basketball team at school. If you ever want to grab a bite, you can often find Justin working at a popular Italian restaurant, Lugano's, over the weekend. He is passionate about helping others as well as being true to his interests. Besides school and work, Justin enjoys spending his time listening to music, lifting weights, and hanging out with friends.
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