top of page
  • Writer's pictureTyler Infinger

Helping The Next Generation - Braydan Shaw - Education Imagine Academy


Meet Braydan Shaw— a three-year high school Rocket League captain and nominee for this year's HSEL All Star!


Nominated for his esports achievements, extraordinary leadership, and ambitious goals — Shaw is one of our finalists for HSEL All Star.


 

Tyler Infinger:

Let's start with introductions!


Braydan Shaw:

Sure. My name is Brayden Shaw, and I'm a student at the Education Imagine Academy High School.


Tyler Infinger:

Perfect. I appreciate you kicking us off. Can you tell me about what got you into gaming?


Braydan Shaw:

When I was really young, my siblings would play a lot while I would be sitting in the back. They would pass me the broken controller. I’d just watch, then eventually, I'd get into it myself and play Call of Duty and all the first-person shooter games.


Braydan Shaw:

And later on, I started getting into Overwatch and playing on my family's console. I never really got the chance to actually have a whole gaming thing to myself, so I don't really have a whole bunch of experience with it. Until I started going to Education Imagine Academy, I started coming to school every day to play on their computers and have fun with friends and getting into the competitive stages of it, which really changed it for me.


Tyler Infinger:

Nice! How do you feel about your school offering esports as an extracurricular? It sounds like you already play quite a bit at your school.



Braydan Shaw:

I think it's awesome. For students, [it's] a sense of freedom. Gaming really helps some people just get away from, like… certain things and allows them a little bit of freedom.


Tyler Infinger:

Definitely. So, you talked about how gaming affords people the opportunity to have more freedom. Can you tell me about some of the things you've gained from being on a high school esports team?


Braydan Shaw:

Opportunities of being on a high school esports team are like the first, to start. There are friends around a community that are very open and interested in the same things as you. And then later on, just like as you game and stuff, it just gives you an opportunity to go farther into your gaming career. It's really exciting, though.


Tyler Infinger:

Have you felt like you've met a lot of people by being on your esports team?


Braydan Shaw:

Oh yeah, for sure. I've met so many people. So many awesome people. Before, I was a little bit of an introvert, and once I started going to this, I got out of my shell and started talking to more people and making more friends. It helped me a whole lot. Words can't really fathom how grateful I am for this opportunity.


Tyler Infinger:

Great! On the topic of your team and what you've done for it, I did want to say… you're only a freshman and I imagine you have many seasons ahead of you. What are your goals for yourself and your team?


Braydan Shaw:

I'm looking forward to seeing us succeed — and I know that the juniors are going to senior year — and they're not going to be here a lot. So, I'm ready to introduce gaming to middle schoolers going into high school. It's going to be really fun.



Tyler Infinger:

Nice! Your coach definitely described you as being a leader throughout the entire nomination form. He also said a line that really stuck out to me. He said that you often use the phrase "protect the culture" quite a bit. Can you describe what this means and how it's implemented with your team?


Braydan Shaw:

This all just kind of started going into our school and just especially being positive. [We say] don't have a negative approach to things, especially if you lose. Don't be negative about it. Just try and make the most out of it with your friends because what really matters in a gaming community is your mentality. If you don't have a mentor and you're not happy, you're not in a comfortable place, then you're not going to want to play and succeed and want to get better. But if you "protect the culture," stay comfortable, stay open, and be happy where you are, then you're going to want to succeed, especially with your teammates.


Tyler Infinger:

That makes complete sense. Have you found that other people on your team started using this phrase or implemented some of the ideology behind this message?


Braydan Shaw:

Oh yeah, all of us do. We'll just like to bring each other up and "protect the culture." This is a game in the end, but let's just try to make the most of it — and it helps a lot.


Tyler Infinger:

Yeah, that's definitely important. I want to dive a little deeper into another topic. With that said, what kind of legacy do you hope to impart to your team once you graduate?


Braydan Shaw:

I'm really hoping that I create more people with the same mindset as me [especially] for the transitioning middle schoolers. I really hope that they're going to be very welcoming because it's going to be an endless loop. I'm just hoping that I'll be remembered as open-minded, with a good mentality, and just very welcoming and giving a wholesome experience for everybody. That's my main goal.


Tyler Infinger:

I think you're definitely well on your way to making that happen! Well, I only have one last question for you: What would winning this award mean to you?


Braydan Shaw:

It will mean a lot, for sure. It will definitely give me a good title, a good name, and especially a really good name for my school. That's what I'd say. And it would really help further on the long line with middle schoolers transitioning and knowing that the school gives us really good opportunities and gave this student a chance to become an all-star. I believe.


Comments


bottom of page