Lincoln Park Should Consider Esports
November 2, 2020
From nerds to professional athletes, Esports has made a big name for itself and now it’s coming to high schools across the globe. It works for other schools, but could it be a good fit for Lincoln Park as well?
When it comes to sports, most think of the traditional ones like football, basketball, or baseball, but in recent years a new type of sport has been moving up and that is Esports. Since the advent of multiplayer gaming, tournaments have been held on both professional and amateur levels whether it be sitting on the couch or in large LAN parties.
So far hundreds of schools are already putting together teams and partnering with the High School Esports League (HSEL). These teams aren’t just in the United States either. So far, there are teams in Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan, and Australia as well.
Looking closer to home, there are already six schools partnered with the HSEL around Pittsburgh as well as 11 more around Western Pennsylvania and two more in Erie. Some of those schools are PA Cyber in Midland, Shenango High in New Castle, Ryan Gloyer in Harmony, and Montour High in McKees Rocks to name a few.
This isn’t just teachers working together, either; it’s an official organization with sponsors such as the Army National Guard, Asus, and Intel. It also offers STEM.org accredited programs and curriculums which allow the schools to apply for grant funding opportunities that cover the cost of bringing the HSEL programs to the school.
If those don’t work out, there is also the Varsity Esports Foundation and FundMyTeam, which work to assist in funding for schools that can’t afford it. These programs feature highly popular games such as CS:GO, Overwatch, Rocket League, Smash Bros, Rainbow Six: Siege, Modern Warfare, Valorant, and even more as well as a class, Gaming Concepts, which teaches various college and career focused skills.
Not only does the HSEL bring a new highly popular type of sport and teach important concepts but it also shows to help students improve their GPA and attendance as those students are more interested and invested in their education. It even opens up opportunities for college recruiting and scholarships so students can get a higher education just like traditional athletes.
If you’re worried about the difference between electronic and traditional sports, you might be surprised to find how similar they are.
Traditional sports train teamwork, strategy, situational awareness, quick thinking, and good sportsmanship. Esports do the very same and some more depending on the game. CS:GO does all that as well as money management. Minecraft does all that and creativity in various forms such as design and problem solving. It also provides a three dimensional space to simulate various designs and demonstrate certain concepts. Madden does all that and teaches team management and organization.
You can even watch a Liquid versus C9 game on your couch just like you can watch the Pirates versus the Phillies game. The biggest difference is there’s no risk of concussions, and you’re behind a computer instead of in a field. The biggest names in esports actually get paid far more than traditional athletes such as Shroud who made an estimated 12 million dollars in 2019 compared to the median 860 thousand dollars the average NFL player makes.
After reading all that, I’d wonder if Esports is right for our school and I hope you do too. Many schools are jumping on in various countries and we could just as well. I, for one, would love to have esports and I’m sure plenty other students would as well. Today gaming is more popular than ever among youth and it only grows every day. If you’d like to learn more you can visit www.highschoolesportsleague.com which has a guide on how to bring Esports to your school and all the information you need to know about the new generation of sports.