• Damien Lane

College scholarships now being awarded to eSports players

Video games have been around since 1958 but have been growing since then. Now the gaming world is coming into the school system for students through eSports.

At many schools, students can take part in school clubs that are involved with video games that the students can play to become better at. The CAM Club at CHS is an example of such a club. These students may also be a part of the school's eSport team to go against other schools to see who is the best at the eSport.

What is the difference between just playing video games and participating in an eSport?

According to PlayVS, the company chosen by the Georgia High School Association to oversee the eSports League here in Georgia, "Esports officially stands for electronic sports, not to be confused with video games. It’s much more than that. What sets it apart is the level of organized competitive gameplay between teams and its own strict set of rules and guidelines. Esports is about teamwork, communication, strategic thinking and leadership — in all the same ways that traditional sports are and then some."

In the words of one of our senior Red and Black writers who is a long-time gamer and familiar with eSports, it is essentially more "strategic and organized."

Currently, the eSports played here in Georgia are played on PCs. The main eSport that is being played right now is "League Of Legends," which is the eSport that CHS is currently competing in against other teams in Georgia. Other eSports being played include "Rocket League" and "Smite." The number of eSports offered by PlayVS,, will increase over time, but only a handful of games have been chosen so far.

The format of the eSports season is similar to other sports. Teams who work together and beat other teams move up the ranks the ranks, going against other schools with similar rankings. Teams with the best records enter the playoffs at the end of the regular season. In Georgia, the playoffs begin April 29, and teams will compete in a single elimination bracket. The top two teams will compete for the championship title, according to PlayVS.

In some eSports competitions, those who place either first, second, or third place may be rewarded with scholarship money which students can use toward college tuition and textbooks. The opportunity for students to represent their schools on a competitive platform never before seen will be a game changer for schools around the world, according to spotlightnews.com

"200 colleges and universities offer esports scholarships and are actively recruiting players for their teams," according to PlayVS.

CNN was recently invited to see to a competition in Georgia between North Atlanta High School and Grady High School in Atlanta at the city’s newest eSports arena. The venue opened in February as part of the Johnson STEM Activity Center, according to wtvr.com.