Taylor High School senior wins Esports announcing tournament at Ferris State University; Rockford wins gaming

Michael Geiss is the king of video game announcing in Michigan, at least for now. 

Geiss, a senior at Taylor High School outlasted 70 competitors to win the inaugural Shoutcaster Showdown (SS) at Ferris State University’s Center for Virtual Learning, just before Thanksgiving. 

"When I entered the building the first thing I thought was this is awesome," said Michael Geiss, Taylor High School senior. "The Shoutcaster Showdown was a really fun event … I got to have an experience that very few will have."

Geiss won a $500 college scholarship, while He and Yale High School teammates Nyles Hughes and Dillen Tenniswood (who took second place) each got plaques. Third place in the tournament, which was hosted by the Michigan High School Esports League (MHSEL), was won by juniors Evan Harter and Noah Mendiola of Mona Shores High School, while sophomores Michael Oliver and Leeroy Sisson from Bay City Central took fourth. 

All of the competitors were given participation certificates and MHSEL memorabilia. 

The Shoutcaster Showdown is a new statewide student shoutcasting competition for high school students to enter as individuals or teams of two. Shoutcasting is providing color commentary and play-by-play in order to help explain to the audience both what is happening and why players/coaches are using certain strategies, characters, etc., all while creating a fun, energetic, and interesting atmosphere for spectators. 

To enter the SS, competitors had to enter a virtual submission online, then the top scorers advanced to the in-person finals competition at FSU. The SS finals invited the top four entries with seven students representing four high schools. For the final round, each duo or individual was provided 10 minutes to review previous match history prior to going into shoutcasting a match they were watching for the first time.

The Turkey Time Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Team Tournament (TT) was held the same day. 

The tournament featured pool play and a single-elimination bracket for the 16 teams competing. 

Schools represented included: Belding, Grandville, Ludington, Manistee, Mona Shores, Oakridge, Plainwell and Rockford. All teams received MHSEL swag while only two walked away with trophies. 

"One of my students (before the tournament began) told me this feels right being in this atmosphere, it just feels right," said Timothy Loeffler, Oakridge High School Esports Coach.

The two winning teams were Rockford and Mona Shores. 

"It's incredibly exciting to see all of the opportunities esports offers students," said Ryan Cayce, MHSEL Director. "Even when we go beyond a competitive match, we are putting on tournaments and competitions that allow students to connect with peers from different schools, putting students on a college campus networking with esports coaches and college athletes, and even organizing learning opportunities to expand their skills and learn about college and career connections related to esports."