PORT ANGELES — The Peninsula College Esports team hosted a tournament for high school players at the end of May, and when the virtual dust settled, Jeren Ruiz of Bainbridge Island, Matthew DeGroot of Lynden and Cole Fierst of Lynden emerged as the winners.

“This event exceeded my expectations, and I was blown away at the talent we have in Washington state,” said Peninsula esports head coach Charlie Morrow. “I wanted to extend a shoutout to Jason Dilley from Sedro-Woolley High School and Michael Patterson from Lynden High School. They were able to round up some incredible players, all of whom I would be fortunate to have on my roster in the future.”

The best local finish came from Aric Johnstone of Chimacum, who finished third in the Smash Brothers competition.

Ruiz claimed the Rocket League title on May 22, while DeGroot prevailed in the Smash Brothers tournament May 23 and Fierst won the League of Legends competition May 24. All three winners earned $50 gift cards.

Morrow conceived the tournament as a way to scout high school players for Peninsula College’s new esports team.

The Pirates competed in Rocket League, League of Legends and Overwatch in 2019-20 and are adding Super Smash Brothers, Rainbow 6 and Fortnite in 2020-21. Scholarships are available to qualifying esports players.

The events were live streamed with Pirate players Drew Eckard and Mike Roggenbuck assisting coach Morrow with shoutcasting.

Finishers were:

• Rocket League : Jeren Ruiz, Bainbridge Island, first; Nicholas Green, Bethel, second; Jacob Top, Lynden, third.