Peel High's first ever eSports team just miss gold

On the ball: Joshua Cripps, Joe Mutch and Brock Peters came within five seconds of winning the National eSports champs. Photo: Peter Hardin
On the ball: Joshua Cripps, Joe Mutch and Brock Peters came within five seconds of winning the National eSports champs. Photo: Peter Hardin

“An absolutely phenomenal experience.”

That is how Peel High student Joe Mutch described the school’s first foray into the world of eSports, following a team of three taking on the best of the best at the inaugural Rocket League National Championships in Adelaide.

Despite it being their first official competition the team of Joe, Brock Peters and Joshua Cripps were just seconds away from being crowned champions themselves after playing their way to the grand final against much favoured home team Unley High.

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For two of the three it was their first trip to South Australia, while for Josh it was his first time on a plane.

Teacher Ben Bowman said that the boys “were right out of their element, but handled it and performed extremely well.” 

The game has become a global phenomenon in the last few years, and combines rocket powered cars and soccer, while relying heavily on physics.

The boys breezed through the local qualifiers, not only winning their way through to the Adelaide tournament, but also the flights and accommodation as well.

While they were a bit taken aback by the professional setup, including live commentary of the National Championships, they soon settled in, and once again cruised through to the finals.

“We went in really nervous, but once we started playing we realised we were one of the best teams there,” Joe said.

“The round games were a piece of cake, although the finals were a lot harder.”

The boys played their way into the grand final, taking centre stage for a best of five against home team Unley, who included professional player Delusion as their skipper and a big home crowd.

The Peel trio took them to two all.

“We had a shot on goal with five seconds to go but it just got blocked – it was really close,” Joshua said.

“It was the most fun I have had in my whole life – it was breathtaking when we first walked into the arena.” 

Unfortunately the team won’t get another crack at the title next year, as Joshua and Brock begin planning for their first year out of school, although Joe is already recruiting for next year.