High School eSports

Starting an eSports club at your high school is a great way to get more students involved in an interactive, skill-building, in-school activity. Participants gain confidence, grow friendships and develop skills that will help them through high school and beyond.

We hope you can use the helpful resources and tips below for starting an eSports club or league at your high school:

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BENEFITS OF A GAMING CLUB OR LEAGUE:

  • Colleges across the country are starting to recognize the advantages and offer esports scholarships
  • Build student relationships and confidence
  • Provide a safe & social place to play
  • Provide an outlet for students that aren’t interested in traditional sports
  • Break down barriers between different groups of students
  • Encourage collaboration and build problem-solving skills
  • Prepare students for the increasingly digital world around them
  • Apply gaming lessons in real life, such as perseverance, teamwork, and decision making
  • Encourage students to improve or maintain good grades so they can participate in gaming clubs

Gaming clubs develop both academic and social skills in students. As an example, most games require the ability to make quick calculations and decisions based on logic, which expands math skills. In addition, the imagination is nurtured in role-playing games, which can improve creative writing skills.

HOW TO START A GAMING CLUB:

Step 1: WHERE & WHEN. Find a location and a time slot that is available. If your school doesn’t have a space available, consider asking your local library, community centers, society halls (that may belong to other organizations), recreation centers, churches or other religious institutions, or even gaming stores.

Step 2: WHO. It is important to involve family and friends, administration and IT support, students, fellow teachers, and parents. Set up a discussion or survey to discuss interest levels and participation.

Step 3: WHAT. Discuss the games that will be played during gaming club.

Step 4: WHY & HOW. Encourage students to take ownership of the club by communicating a “why” and establishing a “how”:

  • Encourage students to create a Mission Statement, focusing on goals for a gaming club
  • Allow students to create rules and expectations for all participants.
  • Consider using a “passport” system in which students earn “points” as they play different games with different players.
  • Encourage student input for advertising, announcements, and social media
  • Consider finding sources for sponsorship & financial assistance

HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE OPPORTUNITIES

The easiest way to begin competing is to join up with an established nation-wide league, such as:

HIGH SCHOOL ESPORTS LEAGUE (HSEL)
https://www.highschoolesportsleague.com
The High School Esports League is currently the largest high school esports league in the US. HSEL delivers high school level competition across 13 different games, including the most popular high school esports, Overwatch and League of Legends. HSEL is also a strong advocate for making esports available to every student as a legitimate varsity level sport in high schools across the nation.

HIGH SCHOOL STARLEAGUE
http://hsstarleague.com/
The High School Starleague strives towards providing high schoolers with a fun, competitive, and rewarding eSports experience, similar to traditional high school sports. They organize events that include league play, online tourneys, inter-school scrimmages, and live charity events. HSL works closely with schools to legitimize esports as part of schools’ athletics or extracurricular programs. Tournaments are organized around the regular school year and include Overwatch, League of Legends, and Smite, among others.

YOUTH ESPORTS OF AMERICA
https://www.youthesportsamerica.com/
Youth Esports of America unites high school esports clubs together in order to create an extensive community of passionate gamers with numerous opportunities. It also provides sanctioned smash events. YEA is committed helping provide high school students with the background they need to succeed within the esports industry.

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF STATE HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATIONS (NFHS)
http://www.nfhs.org/sports-resource-content/esports/
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the NFHS Network have entered into a partnership with PlayVS to begin the rollout of esports competition in high schools throughout the nation.

PLAYVS
https://www.playvs.com/
PlayVS is the official high school esports league, and is an exclusive partner of the NFHS. Players can represent their school in an official league to compete against other students, earn varsity recognition, and ultimately compete for the coveted title of State Champion.

NORTH AMERICAN SCHOLASTIC ESPORTS FEDERATION
http://esportsfed.org/
The NASEF mission is to provide opportunities for ALL students to use esports as a platform to acquire critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to thrive in work and in life.  As a result of student demand to practice their game and learn more about the field of esports, we developed a series of esports workshops in collaboration with UCI Esports and UCI Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences. Click here for more info: http://esportsfed.org/resources/workshops/

EGFH
http://egfh.egfederation.com/schools
EGFH is the first state-endorsed national high school esports league in the United States – operated by the Electronic Gaming Federation, EGFH oversees two competitive seasons including state and national championships per year across multiple titles which are broadcasted through platforms like Twitch and YouTube. Additionally, EGF provides program development support to schools and works with educators on building esports-based learning opportunities. Today, EGF is the governing body for collegiate (EGFC) and high school (EGFH) esports leagues – designed specifically for administratively endorsed programs – as the NCAA does for traditional sports. In addition to overseeing esports competitions, EGF works with administrators at universities and high schools across the country to develop esports programs that create competitive teams, educational programming, and positive social impact.

In addition to these nation-wide leagues, many states and schools also offer organized high school esports. While eSports leagues are being added every day, here are a few examples below:

OHIO HIGH SCHOOL ESPORTS ASSOCIATION
http://ohioesports.org/

ESPORTS MICHIGAN
http://esportsmichigan.com/ 

ILLINOIS HIGH SCHOOL ESPORTS ASSOCIATION (IHSEA)
http://ihsea.org/

CONNECTICUT HIGH SCHOOL ESPORTS
http://egfh.egfederation.com/schools

ORANGE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL ESPORTS LEAGUE
http://www.ochighschoolesports.org/

eSPORTS FUNDING RESOURCES/SCHOLARSHIPS

eTeamSponsor.com
https://www.eteamsponsor.com/
eTeamSponsor is a Strategic Fundraising Partner. More than 3,000 Educational Institutions partner with eTeamSponsor to fundraise. Coaches, Boosters, Advancement and Institutional Leadership launch crowdfunding campaigns to reach more donors and raise more money than ever before.

eSports Scholarships for Gamers
The website scholarships.com offers an up-to-date listing of colleges offering esports scholarships with details on benefits and application deadlines.
>Click here for eSports Scholarships/Scholarships for Gamers

24 eSports Scholarships for Gamers
Many colleges and universities across the country are recruiting top gamers just as they recruit players for other sports. So, if you are an avid gamer and are thinking of playing competitively in college or university, check out these esports scholarships. After all, it’s FREE money!
>Click here for 24 eSports Scholarships for Gamers (updated May 2018)

How to Get eSports Scholarships
Check out this YouTube video for tips, schools, and mistakes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=FfduJcSB_cA 

Sample Letter to Request Local Sponsors
Click here for an example of an eSports Sponsor Letter

eSPORTS RECRUITING RESOURCES

Be|Recruited – Your Guide to the eSports Recruiting Process
https://new.berecruited.com/esports
BeRecruited is the largest college recruiting network, serving more than 2 million high school athletes looking to play at the next level. Our student athletes represent more than 80% of U.S. high schools and have made over 25 million connections with college coaches. In addition to serving more than 2 million athletes, BeRecruited serves over 30,000 registered college coaches and 25,000 registered high school and club coaches. BeRecruited offers resources for athletes, parents, and coaches alike, as well as information on eSports scholarships, and tips to get recruited to play eSports in college.

BUILDING YOUR eSPORTS PC

Once the pieces are coming together, it’s time to choose your eSports gaming PCs. Our team of experience professionals can help you build a gaming rig customized for your specific needs.  We understand the importance of building a solid gaming rig for ultimate performance and reliability. That’s why we use only the highest quality components, including ASUS motherboards and graphics cards, Intel processors, Samsung SSDs, and Kingston memory.Our team of gaming experts then assemble and test your machine before it ships to you. We promise to make a high quality, performance-driven machine you will be proud to use in competition.

Whether your high school is just getting started with eSports, or you’re interested in a refresh, we can help! Here are a just a few things ByteSpeed can provide:

  • Custom-Built PCs with Industry Leading 5-Year Warranties. ByteSpeed provides a standard 5-year warranty for esports desktops.
  • Creative Customization Options. We can customize your rig by adding team logo branding, school colors/LED lighting, liquid cooling, and more.
  • eSports Jerseys. As part of a team sponsorship, we can help design and order custom jerseys for your eSports team.
  • Personalized Attention and US-Based Support. ByteSpeed employs knowledgeable, English speaking technicians that are located in our Moorhead, MN headquarters. Because our techs are located in-house, you can speak to the same technician every time you call or chat. Our technicians are available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST. In addition to US-based telephone support, ByteSpeed offers Live Chat support, remote tech assistant, a download center, and a portal system you can submit questions and comments.
  • FREE Lifetime Tech Support. All ByteSpeed systems are backed by FREE lifetime tech support. If you have a support issue, just make us aware of it, and we’ll take care of it!

If you’d like a custom quote, please contact our sales team today: sales@bytespeed.com, 877-553-0777, or Live Chat on our website.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: 

#EsportsEDU: Join a weekly Twitter Chat on Thursday nights at 7:30pm!

eSports for Education Discord: Join the discord server for the K12 to college #Esports community! Join the discord here:  https://discord.gg/sJ6GDR9

Click HERE for 7 Ways High School Students Benefit from eSports (Source: High School eSports League)

Click HERE for How to Start an eSports Team  (Source: High School eSports League)

Click HERE for How to Grow Your Club  (Source: High School eSports League)

Harrisburg University and iHeartMedia Announce Inaugural Festival Celebrating eSports – Click here to learn more

Able Gamers Charity
https://ablegamers.org/
Able Gamers Charity gives people with disabilities custom gaming setups including modified controllers and special assistive technology, like devices that let you play with your eyes, so they can have fun with their friends and family. We’re using the power of video games to bring people together, improving quality of life with recreation and rehabilitation.

 

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