(WTNH) — You may not think of video games as a competitive sport for high school students, but that is changing. Esports are competitive video games that require skill. They may soon be offered at schools as an alternative to baseball and track.
The Connecticut Association of Schools is partnering with the Electronic Gaming Federation to bring esports to schools across the state. Supporters say like traditional sports, Esports involve competition, strategy and teamwork.
Teachers, students, and administrators from across the state met with the gaming community in an informational session on Wednesday. Soon they’ll be taking this to the next level. Students will be able to play Esports – video games like League of Legends – competitively at school.
“Our goal is to see teams created at every school across the state,” said Tyler Schrodt, CEO and founder of the Electronic Gaming Federation. “They’ll compete in weekly online and traditional matches, just like they would in traditional sports.”Related Content: Nintendo’s mini-sized classic console is coming back in 2018
Some schools already have esports as clubs. Even though esports are a different type of activity, administrators believe they’re more than just video games.
“You have the community involvement, the team aspect of the sports, which builds their interpersonal skill sets,” said Karissa Niehoff, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools.
Many teachers say esports have been very well received at their schools. Since esports can be played online the hope is they’ll connect students across the state, and eventually the country and the world. Though supporters acknowledge that some parents may have concerns, they hope they’ll give esports a chance.
“I think that for parents who aren’t sure, watch your kids after a win,” said Charles Wentzell, a science teacher at New Haven Academy. “Watch your kids after a loss. They get together. They console each other. They act like a real team.”
A pilot season will launch next month. Organizers are expecting to launch competitive esports in February. They hope esports will attract students who would prefer to sit traditional sports out.
“I know myself I could never do soccer or football or anything like that, but this is still a good way to be part of a team,” Jaret Ostop, a high school senior from Madison.
The Electronic Gaming Federation is also working to bring esports to other states and cities around the country.
For more information, visit http://www.casciac.org/.