Student plays unexpected sport

LT student excels in video gaming, wins World Championships

Danny Kilrea, Copy editor

It may not be common knowledge, but there is a world champion walking around the halls of LT. Simon Lux ‘18 and his teammates Derik Wurst, Sadiq Humecki, Joshua Gratton, Caleb Sullivan and Tristin Glunt won the SMITE Console World Championships on Jan. 8 in Atlanta, Ga.

“There was a lot of work that went into this, just about a year,” he said. “We practiced five nights a week from 7-10 p.m. My teammates are really good friends of mine so it makes it a lot of fun, even though I did not know them two years ago.”

To get to this point, it took a lot of perseverance, he said. The year before at the World Championships in 2016, their team, Team Eager, lost in the semifinals. However, this loss did not make them lose any hope. Rather, it drove the team to maintain a competitive mindset and come back the next year better than anyone else.

“Simon’s a very passionate guy,” Wurst said. “However, he only gets mad at himself and often acts as both the voice of reason and mediator for the team. I have never played at a competitive event without Simon on my team and every win I have had has been with him on my team.”

It can be difficult for Lux to manage his schoolwork with his gaming, he said. Yet, it helps him get his work done because he knows he does not have the time to procrastinate. Playing the game led to him becoming more efficient. Another benefit he sees is networking, considering his teammates are from places as far as Michigan, New Mexico and Tennessee. He also has to negotiate and work with many members of the gaming community, which he thinks will end up resulting in a valuable skill in the workforce later on in life.

“Simon has an outstanding work ethic,” Glunt said. “Being on a professional team requires the minimum of 10 to 12 hours of team practice per week. This doesn’t include the hours Simon spends improving himself individually. That may not sounds like a lot at first, but doing it every week for the entire year requires you to be persistent.”

The game started out as a fun activity and transitioned into a career for Lux, he said. Calling it a career may even be too harsh due to his appreciation of the game. Rather, he likes to equate it to regular sports because there are sponsors and teams. Regardless, his optimistic outlook on the game has helped him better himself.

“After the World Championships in 2016, we got knocked out of semi-finals which was very disappointing,” Lux said. “We set a goal to win the next year and after a lot of work, that’s what we did.”

While some people choose gaming as a career, Lux does not see this as a viable path, he said. He plans on pursuing a traditional four-year education in college and putting down his controller after his senior year. The expectations are still high for his high school gaming career.

“Despite being the youngest member of the team he has proven to all of us and the community that he is mature enough to take on the responsibility of being a part of professional teams and representing sponsors,” Glunt said.