By Lisa Bohaty, East Butler Public Schools
So you may have heard about Esports and thought playing video games isn’t really a sport? But it is. And it’s gaining in popularity across the nation. Esports by definition is “a type of sport competition involving video games, usually in a multiplayer format.”
The Nebraska Esports Association was created to bring together schools and students in a way to allow competition by playing video games. The key here is that students play in teams and have to develop strategies and communication skills as they play other schools. Instead of kids playing each other at home, they play multiplayer games after school hours as a team.
The benefits Esports has numerous benefits for the student athletes. Students learn critical thinking, communication, and strategy building skills. Many times when students are involved in sports often their attendance and grades improve. The feeling that you belong to a group makes school more enjoyable. Esports can also open doors to make careers. Pathways to college open as more than sixty colleges are offering scholarships as ways to continue the sport in college.
The schools, seasons, & games
In Nebraska there are currently 21 schools that are participating this school year. The school year is broken down into two separate seasons. There are three games, StarCraft II, Overwatch and Rocket League, that the students play in the fall. Smash Bros and League of Legends are the two different games in the spring. Kids experience playing in games that are four vs four players and two vs two players. Both types of games give students a chance to really communicate and work on strategies as a team. Esports is a great opportunity to give those students who are not athletic a chance to be in a sport and be part of a team.
Start your own team
If your school doesn’t have an Esports team, think about starting one. To learn more about Esports in Nebraska visit http://nebraskahsesports.com