By Lynn Spahr / Staff writer

Competitions are an important part of any sport. They’re full of emotional moments, from the lows of losing to the elation of beating a difficult opponent.

It’s the place where players can show off their skill and see how well they work together under pressure. A balanced team full of good players that work well together can take a team all the way to a national championship win, like it did for Hutchinson Community College’s “Halo: Infinite” Esports team.

Teams don’t win a national championship without putting in months of practice, learning the game and learning how to work effectively as a team.

According to Blue Dragons coach Heath Hensley, the “Halo” team practices two to three times a week. Players spend hours honing their skills, and during playoffs, some players play outside of practice to make sure they’re ready for competition, such as Christopher Clear, who said, “I was playing almost everyday trying to get better.”

There’s no feeling like winning a major competition after putting in hours of practice. Winning something as big as a national championship really “makes all of your hard work pay off,” Clear said.

It’s an incredible moment, and something that “stays with you forever,” Hensley said.

The payoff of winning such a difficult competition is incredible. Clear talked about his initial thoughts of the final game, saying that he thought it would be the “toughest game” yet. According to Hensley, the competition was “super intense” and he’s proud of how the team performed.

The preparation for the “Halo: Infinite” team paid off, bringing them a national championship win, to go with the NBA2K national championship in 2021.

“We’re not just a flash in the pan now, HutchCC Esports is for real,” Hensley said.

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