JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF)- Times are changing, and one local high school is adapting to the future, by introducing Esports to their after-school programs. 7News went to Indian Creek High School in Wintersville to talk about this booming program that began from student demand.
There is big money to be made in competitive gaming, so why not make an after-school student club centered around video games. Like any other sport, it’s not all fun and games, it’s hard work!
Electronic sports have grown quickly worldwide, and Indian Creek High School has just joined the Esports Ohio League this school year, with over 40 kids in the program.
Dave Moffat, Interactive Media Teacher at ICHS, told 7News “those critical thinking skills, no matter what you do, these students have to think so fast to learn how to do this stuff. And the other thing about it I think is more important than any other kind of sport or anything, it’s so inclusive it doesn’t matter if it’s a boy a girl doesn’t matter, even some physical handicaps do not matter everybody’s equal.”
Major scholarship opportunities are possible through Esports, and many colleges and universities have their own teams.
Principal, Loui Retton, added “we know that the 3-6 PM time is always a danger zone for the kids, it’s that time when they’re home, mom and dad might not be home from work, and we want them with a positive role model.”
Students are developing team skills, problem-solving, and socialization. And they’re playing with people they don’t know, miles away, which in itself is another learning experience.
Moffat said “they’re going to play video games, and if we teach them the social skills and also the dangers of the addictive quality of gaming, it’s worth it.”
Teams are assigned to up to 6 games, with the same GPA requirements for any sport or club. No violent games, of course! Competitions begin in March and state championships are in June at Akron University sponsored by the US Army.
Sophomore student, Zachary Taylor, said “I don’t like the game because of the game itself, I like the game because of the people that come along with it. I always grew up with video games and things like that so of course there are other clubs, I played basketball for a little while and things like that, but it’s nice to have something where people have the same interests as me can go play, have fun and if we’re good enough get some scholarships on the way.”
Right now students bring their own supplies, but the school plans to bring more fundraising in the future.
League of Legends, Overwatch, Super Smash Bros., Rocket League, Fortnite, and Hearthstone are all of the games available in the Esports Ohio League. Check out this website for more info!
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