A NEW GENERATION OF HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES WILL PLAY ESPORTS
SCHOOL ATHLETES WILL PLAY ESPORTS At the college level eSports are set to explode as more school-supported programs sprout up every day. But officially sanctioned high school esports are essentially nonexistent. Many teachers (and parents) still see video games as a waste of time. Teens looking for competitive team play could previously only find it in the unsung volunteer efforts of online leagues. They’ve been making do on their own for years, but they can’t offer meeting spaces to practice and connect, or validation from adults and authority figures.
SCHOOL ATHLETES WILL PLAY ESPORTS
Yet in the last several months, a trio of local leagues have debuted that are fully affiliated with high schools and supported by education districts. Whether or not they’re models other school districts can copy, they’re certainly the most robust high school eSports associations in the US — if not the world.
Schools looking to build local leagues for minimal cost could emulate the Wisconsin High School eSports Conference (WHSEC), which quietly debuted back in October. It began as a passion project: Instructor Mike Dahle started an afterschool gaming club for his students at Arrowhead High School located west of Milwaukee. When they wanted to establish an eSports team, he made it happen and became their coach. They joined an online league, but its lack of structure (sometimes other teams simply wouldn’t show up to matches) frustrated him and his students. So after speaking with like-minded teachers at other Wisconsin schools, he decided to create his own league. The WHSEC had its first season last fall with seven teams from all over the state and quickly grew to 15 teams in its second season.
Read the full article on engadget.com here. .
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