Esports is quickly becoming a worldwide phenomenon. With the popularization of games such as Overwatch, League of Legends, PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, Rocket League, and more, esports is swiftly worming its way into the public eye. Many traditional sports teams are even buying up or investing in esports. Esports are becoming much more prevalent in college as well, with college esports teams popping up throughout the country. This creates a great pathway for kids participating in the High School Esports League.
High school is really the time in which traditional sports become a significant hobby. Participants begin to really take sports seriously. High school is also an important time in life in which you truly begin to think about your future. Not only that, but high school is often a place in which many people struggle socially. Students who participate in sports often find that they can more easily make friends, because they are in an environment with a group of people with with a shared interest.
Gamers often feel out of place at school because there aren’t a lot of activities in high school related to tech or gaming. There are often after school activities for those interested in sports, the arts, math, science, theatre, band, et cetera, but in a world that is still becoming technologically friendly, there still aren’t many things for people interested in technology to do at school.
According to Aaron Hawkey, the CCO of High School Esports League, the HSEL upholds the same requirements as a traditional sports team. Participants are required to have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA, which helps a lot with the kids grades and attendance, as being able to play in the tournament is a reward for doing well in school. Because of this, many kids who feel like outsiders or are struggling in school have something to keep them going and keep them interested. Beau Hughes, a past participant in the High School Esports league, had this to say, “Esports really connected me with people at my school because I got to meet and play games with people I never talk to before. It also helped my grades because I had to keep my grades up to play in tournaments.” This really shows how esports can have a profound impact on a high schooler’s life.
Another thing that the HSEL does is provide college scholarships. Winners of the HSEL tournaments are awarded scholarships in order to help them on their way to college or university. This makes kids feel more at home in school, and gives them something of interest to pursue throughout their educational career.
The HSEL Majors is currently hosting Hearthstone, League of Legends, Overwatch, CS:GO, and Rocket League. The participants of the league are members of school esports club that have chosen to take part in the tournament. These esports clubs either compete at school in the same environment, or they go home and compete online with each other.
Due to the constant growth of esports, I really think that high school participants are going to start greatly benefitting from it very soon. It is evident that esports are helping kids stay in school, and become more passionate and motivated about their education.
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