GLENDALE, Calif. — It's ironic: A virtual activity brought people physically closer together.

Several brand-new computers were just delivered and taken out of the box at Glendale High School. Students were brought to campus to assemble them.

What You Need To Know

  • The Glendale High School esports club won six expensive computers to use for competition and practice

  • Students returned to campus for a day to build the computers

  • The club was in danger of disbanding at one point

  • The new computers at Glendale High are part of the High School Esports League Roadshow, a campaign to build computer labs in 25 high schools across the U.S.

The secretary of Glendale High School's esports club, Brielle Mailed, helped build one of the computers to use for competition. The student group entered its first tournament last year. Mailed hasn't yet competed, but it remains a dream that was close to never happening.

"We almost decided on quitting this club, closing it down because we had some complications with what games you could play and what we couldn't," Mailed said. "And we were struggling with getting members to join, and now we're here."

The club's future is all but secure despite receiving the six high-end computers. This prize, along with the in-person assembly assistance, comes from the High School Esports League, or HSEL, the largest and longest-running competitive gaming organization for high school students in the country.

Glendale High was chosen from thousands of hopeful applicants because the equipment required to compete in esports is expensive.

"The computers I do touch normally if we were at school are these really old computers in the library," Mailed said. "Other than that, we do have Chromebooks, but they aren't the best of quality."

Math teacher Michael Watter, who is also the club's advisor, explained how he wasn't sure the new club would survive a blow like remote learning.

"There are a lot of hurdles just to get a computer lab, let alone a computer lab designed for gaming," Watter said.

The new computers at Glendale High are part of the HSEL Roadshow, a campaign to build computer labs in 25 high schools across the nation.

Glendale Unified School District students in grades K-2 returned Monday. Students in grades 3-6 will return Monday. Administrators are still finalizing return plans for middle and high school students.