LOS ANGELES, CA – September 18, 2019 – PlayVS, the company bringing varsity esports to high schools across the country, today announced the start of the Fall 2019 season. Last year’s program saw 60 schools participate, with Lambert High School (15-1) winning the League of Legends championship and Pickens County High School (21-9) taking home the Rocket League crown. The current waitlist to build an interscholastic esports program with PlayVS is over 13,000 schools long - 68% of all high schools - and spans across all 50 US states. This puts esports on par with traditional programs like football, which is available in 14,247 schools.
While Traditional sports such as football and basketball see participation from about 30 students on average, over 100 students participated in Colquitt County’s esports program last year. Esports participation gives students access to scholarship opportunities as well as strengthening their resume for potential careers in the field. This exemplifies not only the growing interest in the new sport across the state but also the large interest in the esports industry as a whole, even at the entry-level.
“We had a bunch of kids who came out that had never been a part of a sports team or club,” said Kevin Sapp, Lambert High School Esports Coach. “This helped improve our school community by bringing in students who typically didn't associate with after school activities.”
“This is more than a sport,” said Adam Shi, League of Legends Player, Lambert High School. “It is a team sport and requires much more teamwork than my other sport [Cross Country].”
“We are excited about Esports in the state of Georgia and the growth that it has experienced,” said Robin Hines, Executive Director, GHSA. “It is the GHSA's hope that all member schools offer the quality activity that Esports provides.”
“It is clear the impact esports has already had on these student-athletes, from bringing up their GPA to getting involved in school activities,” said Dr. Clint Kennedy, Director of Education & Acquisition at PlayVS. “We are excited to continue to partner with teachers and schools to empower students to pursue their dreams.”
During the first year of PlayVS’ ‘Seasons,’ esports teams nationwide had an average of 15 players per program, with one in three players participating in their first-ever school activity. More than 70% of the students who participated said they found a community to connect with, and more than 40% plan on using their esports experience to apply for colleges and universities.
The cost to participate -- $64 per player -- is paid for by a parent/guardian or, in most cases, the school. This cost provides students with a full suite of unlocked, in-game content (valued at over $700) and access to the full games themselves (each valued at $20-$60). Most schools already have the required computer equipment in existing labs or libraries, making esports a simple, low-cost/high-benefit program to get off the ground. Non-association schools in Georgia are able to compete in a PlayVS regional league. Schools can still register for the fall season for free by signing up at PlayVS.com. The deadline for schools to register for this upcoming Fall season is October 11th.
For more information on PlayVS, please visit https://www.playvs.com/.
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PlayVS is the premier high school esports provider, in partnership with the NFHS and 17 state associations. Its product is the single destination where players come together to compete, fans gather to spectate and coaches manage their programs. Through partnerships with top game publishers, PlayVS powers inclusive league and State Championship play across the nation. For more information, visit www.playvs.com.