Benefits of High School Esports

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arstechnica.com

Equipped with a PC and gaming peripherals, video games have been a growing pastime for students over the last few years.

Matthew Dimaandal, Staff Writer

Universities across the United States have begun to include esports as part of their official sports. Even UCI has built its own esports arena equipped with top-of-the-line gaming computers and accessories, allowing students and faculty the ability to play some of the most popular games in competitive esports. The collegiate esports scene is continuing to grow and with the benefits that esports offers for high school students, here are some of the ways you can use esports towards going to college.

Thousands of schools currently participate in high school esports such as Woodbridge and Portola high school. Even Northwood high school used to have its own esports team. The High School Esports League (HESL) provides the opportunity for students to form their own teams to compete in tournaments with other high schools in a variety of games like Valorant, Minecraft and even chess. 

Students can also form their own teams with others from different high schools as free agents who compete in their own tournaments.Tournaments are an opportunity to showcase player  talent in different esports, possibly resulting in recruitment for a university team.

Colleges such as the University of California, Irvine will award  scholarships to players who  join their varsity and junior varsity teams; UCI gives as much as $6,000 and $1,000 to players on the respective teams, and the list of participating colleges grows each year.. Harrisburg University in Pennsylvania provides 22 players with full-ride scholarships and housing stipends . The HESL even offers scholarships in their tournament up to $30,000.

Playing video games competitively isn’t just fun and games: It takes hard work, dedication and time management to be able to become the best of the best in tournaments. Forming your own team and training for the next big tournament requires the development of some of these skills which are applicable to jobs today. 

Esports is a growing industry that is taking collegiate and high school sports by storm. With the vast amount of resources available for students in Irvine to start their own esport careers during high school, every student should take advantage of it. Whether it is having fun, earning scholarships for college or developing new skills for jobs, esports is an amazing new way to do it.