Jun 13, 2023
Player Spotlight - Luke Sherman
Luke Sherman (he/him), 19, is a second-year student studying communications at Heartland Community College (HCC).
“Heartland has been a wonderful school for me to go to, and I’ve enjoyed it very much! I’ve been taking plenty of communication classes, and the teachers are always friendly and available in our small class sizes,” said Sherman, “The facilities and resources available to students are very high quality. I feel like I am always able to get help with anything I may be struggling with.”
When Sherman finishes his time at Heartland, he plans to transfer to a four-year university to complete his bachelor’s degree in communications. He also wants to continue pursuing esports wherever he attends.
Currently, Sherman plays on the HCC esports team where he is team captain.
“My main game is Super Smash Bros Ultimate (SSBU), where I mostly play as Young Link. I’m our team captain, so I get to help set up our practices and organize tournaments/events, and I’m always on the lookout to help recruit! I am excited about the newly-added Omega Strikers league because I’m practicing to be our team’s goalie,” said Sherman.
Sherman got involved in esports when he was in middle school. His older brother showed him the popular game League of Legends and said when he saw videos of massive arenas filled with cheering fans watching pro-LoL players it changed everything for him. Sherman then started an esports club at his middle school and eventually, his high school, where he then switched his main focus to SSBU.
One of the ways he helped himself improve in game was by starting up weekly tournaments in his town.
“The other local tournaments weren’t very accessible for me so I decided to start running tournaments that I would be able to attend, and I got to practice against a lot of skilled players there. It’s helped me realize the possibilities of opening up new paths for myself in everyday life,” said Sherman.
How do you prepare for NJCAAE championships?
“I’m used to tournaments that happen over the course of a day or two, so tournaments are usually endurance tests with a lot of matches. The NJCAAE turns the tournament into a whole season, so I have plenty of time to rest and prepare for matches. When preparing for the Smash Bros championship match, I knew that I would have to work extra hard because I was coming out of the loser’s bracket and would have to get two wins in a row,” said Sherman, “I took the week leading up to review some old matches, come up with a game plan with my coach, and practice it all before the big day. It ended up paying off, and my preparation led me to win the National Championship!”
Sherman expressed that he has really enjoyed being a part of Heartland’s esports team and knowing so many people around campus because of the esports network.
“I think some people believe that esports players stay inside all the time playing video games for several hours every single day. This has not been true in my experience,” said Sherman, “My teammates and I usually practice together for an hour or two before we take a break and do something else. We like spending time with each other outside of gaming doing things like working out at the gym, playing volleyball, going to movies, or golfing.”
Sherman said it’s hard to say where he’ll be in 5 years, as he is someone who likes to go with the flow and run with new opportunities as they come about. With that said, he feels confident that he will still be playing SSBU, and hopefully helping others to love the game as much he does.
“If there are any young and aspiring Smash players reading this, start practicing your combos now! And don’t be worried about trying something new in your matches, don’t be too upset if it doesn’t always work out because that’s how you learn and improve,” said Sherman, “It’s okay to take inspiration from everything! If your favorite shows, movies, songs, quotes, poems, or anything else makes you feel like getting up and doing something, you should follow it!”