Teenage gamers will have an additional reason to enjoy school. An e-sports team at Warren County High School has been approved to provide students with competitive video gaming as a club.
Participation in electronic sports has prompted many schools across the nation to offer e-sports to students as a way for personal and professional growth, as well as the social and physical benefits of group activities.
Warren County High School principal Clark George has given approval, with high school teachers Russell Prater and Brandon Hodges sponsoring the team.
“E-sports is a rising entity,” said Hodges. “It provides so many opportunities, including a lot of different career opportunities that we are seeing emerging. What we want to do is progress to where we can compete against other teams across the nation.”
Hodges adds colleges are now offering scholarships.
“The big thing that we see is scholarship opportunities. E-sports has emerged so far that colleges are now offering millions of dollars in scholarships for students to join their e-sports teams at their college. The last statistic I looked at, there was about $11 million or so in scholarship opportunities.”
Along with providing those students with a pathway to college, it also provides a gateway to a wide array of career opportunities such as a pro player, programming, streaming, management of e-sports teams, game development, graphic design, marketing, video production, and even STEM fields.
Offering an e-sport at school will also urge students to improve academically. Similar to other high school clubs, students will be urged to maintain their grades in order to participate.
Funding will be needed.
“The only thing limiting us right now is equipment,” said Hodges, who stated that 12 students have already expressed an interest in joining the e-sports team. “We will have to purchase brand new gaming PCs. We will be looking into grants or donations from outside sources to fund the cost of the equipment. It does have an upfront heavy cost, but the long-term cost is minimal. Participation is on site. There would be no travel involved. Come to the high school and participate in the match and leave when the game is over.”
Director of Schools Grant Swallows gave his support for establishing the team when the idea was presented to members of the Warren County School Board for approval.
“If you know kids or have teenagers, you know that it’s fairly popular. I think this is an exciting opportunity for Warren County High School,” said Swallows, who later added, “We probably have some technology money that we can use to help purchase equipment. This is certainly something that can be budgeted. There is no doubt in my mind that participation in the club is going to soar.”
Warren County School Board members unanimously approved an e-sports team at the high school. If anyone would like to make a donation to help establish the new club, call 668-5858.