Video games: A new breed of high school sport


  They have trained up for weeks to prepare for this game. Their reflexes, speed, and concentration have been sharpened for this very moment, and their skill will be tested for the whole world to see. You may think they are football players or basketball players, but they are ESport players, and this upcoming game could make it or break it for them.

  The popularity of ESports has increased greatly in recent years, and it has become a career for some streamers, Youtubers, and others. ESports involves competitive tournaments where competitors play video games, usually in the professional setting. According to Business Insider, “Over the last several years, ESports have gone from a niche activity… to a full-fledged phenomenon. The industry is currently valued at nearly $750 million, and experts predict it’ll rise to almost $2 billion by 2018.”

  HR now has its very own ESports club. The club operates through HSEL (High School ESports League), and last year, a group of three HR students were ranked among the top 5 competitors in the Rocket League competition. Since then, the club has expanded from just Rocket League to also include League of Legends, Super Smash Brothers, and Hearthstone.

  The ESports club is a student-initiated club inspired by the success in Rocket League last year. “Nick Harris came to me and said that he and some friends wanted to get into this club because they had found it online and it was competitive. It allowed them to possibly earn scholarships. So I did some research into it and I was like, ‘Okay, we can do this,’” said Dennis Sierra, ESports sponsor.

  Scholarships are increasingly being offered to students who participate in ESports and it has become a college sport in many schools. “This is now a valid college sport. It’s the kind of thing that most of the kids have been practicing all their lives. If they’re qualified for any type of competitive activity, a lot of the times it’s this one. Take advantage of it and try to get that money for college,” said Sierra.

  The ESports club is opening many possibilities for HR students, and it is also a place for kids to come and enjoy playing games in a competitive environment. The club meets every other week on either Thursdays or Fridays in Sierra’s room 2080 and all students are welcome to stop in.

Kaylee Kirkwood, Editor in Chief

The growth in recent years of ESports. Graphic by Kaylee Kirkwood