Video gaming becomes a legitimate sport.
We have all seen those kids who spend way too much time playing video games. We have also, probably all judged them, silently. Well, now in at least eight different states, competitive video gaming has become a recognized sport.
“It began with Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island in the fall of 2018,” wrote CNN. “A few months later, the National Federation of State High School Associations said Alabama, Mississippi and Texas Charter schools have joined the mix.”
The games are not played on couches either. They are played in local arenas and each school has a team of six players, according to Fox 47. CNN also mentions that the game was designed so that everyone can play. The games include League of Legends and popular multiplayer web based games.
This is how “Esports” works according to the NFHS:
- It will be played in two seasons (Oct-Jan/Feb-May) with different games that have been approved by the participating state association
- Each season consists of a pre, regular and postseason competitions with a state champion being crowned for each game at the end of the season.
- Student teams are matched up with other schools across the states based on skill level.
- There is no traveling during the regular season! All matchups will happen within their own school walls with competitions played through the PlayVS online platform.
- Each school can field as many teams as they can for as many games in a season. Schools are required to have a faculty advisor, access to internet and computers.
- Students are required to pay a $16 per month participation fee
“Just like athletic sports, universities are now offering video game scholarships, with some players going on to professional playing careers,” said Fox 47.
Esports is a growing industry. CNN puts it at generating around $1 billion in 2019. With its growing nature, it only makes sense that it is moving to the college level. Colleges have begun handing out partial scholarships to cater to the growing population of Esports. The University of Utah is one of the bigger sports oriented colleges doing so.
More closely to Saddleback students, the University of California, Irvine, has begun giving partial scholarships as well. They have even built a brand new arena for the games to take place in.
“The University of California-Irvine similarly recruits students on partial video game scholarships and have even built a gaming arena for gamers and its school’s 10-player team,” said Scholarships.com.
Scholarships.com also goes to point out that the sport is co-ed. Although most gamers turn up being men, women are welcome to play as well. Stephens college was the first all women’s college to come on board with Esports scholarships and also have helped host over 31 video game programs.
Calling all gamers, the future is yours!