Yes, there is a high school history teacher who moonlights as a popular League of Legends player. He’s known by his very apt in-game handle “HISTORY TEACHER.” Now, like so many of people his students’ age, the guy has bigger dreams of going pro in his favorite video game.
History Teacher posted a YouTube video last night to make a case for himself as a viable candidate for a coaching position that just opened on the American eSports organization Counter Logic Gaming’s League of Legends team. CLG’s League team is one of the top-tier League teams in all of North America—they’re currently tied for 5th place in the 2015 Championship Series. That’s the bottom-most rung of the ladder, but still—it’s the top 5!
Leaving education by jumping straight into the pros might seem like a pipe dream. And according to the player’s Twitter, he’s not currently teaching, so he might be motivated to make the hoped-for career move for other reasons that purely idealistic ones:
History Teacher argues that even though his experience playing in solo queue games “means jack shit” since it hasn’t given him experience working with full teams of five players, the fact that he reached Master and Challenger level (the two highest ranks in the game) proves that he’s more than qualified in terms of his knowledge and understanding of League. Others might disagree with that, given the importance of team dynamics in the game.
He makes another argument I find incredibly persuasive, though: that his credentials as a high school teacher proves that he can work well with teenagers. That’s pretty much what all professional League of Legends players are. There are few things better than teaching to make one learn how to manage and communicate with young people in an effective empathetic way. Scandals like the German League team Meet Your Maker’s coach threatening one of his player and the players mother show that those sorts of skills haven’t been valued in the nascent eSports scene as much as they clearly should.
I’m not saying that History Teacher is a shoe-in for being a genuine “maker of men” on par with Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights. But even if he couldn’t cut it in the big leagues? Heck, I think that having more semi-professional or volunteer coaches in actual high schools across the country would be a great thing in its own right. There needs to be more opportunities for adults and younger League of Legends players to interact with one another in ways that are positive and mutually beneficial. I can’t think of a better environment to establish that sort of healthy dynamic.