Esports may be coming to PHS
Roughly 395 million people around the world watched esports for the year 2018 according to the Newzoo 2019 Global Esports Market Report.
50 colleges have been identified in the United States by the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) for obtaining varsity eSports organizations.
The term esports is a shortening of electronic sports; they are virtual games that are involved in competitions between either individuals or a team of two or more people.
Tournaments competing for money have become a new fad. Scholarships to be won by the NACE for participating in esports and demonstrating skill in the games.
Relating more to Perrysburg High School itself, Esports Ohio (ESO) is an association that includes both a college league and a high school league. Colleges that participate within Esports Ohio include Ohio State University, Kent State University and Miami University. Some high schools that partake in the high school league are Findlay, Genoa, Napoleon, Northwood, Ottawa Hills, Saint John’s Jesuit and Maumee. Overall, there are 72 high schools associated with Esports Ohio.
According to the rulebook provided by Esports Ohio, the maximum rating allowed for video games is T for teen. This means that one must be 13 years of age or older to be enrolled in a group affiliated with ESO. It is required to have at least a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 GPA scale. There is also a dress code that identifies permitted clothing. Athletes who use drugs or alcohol could face a permanent ban from ESO.
The only games that are currently registered within the organization are Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
With growing interest in video games amongst teens throughout the digital age, it’s no surprise that the possibility of esports at Perrysburg High School is being explored. This past Video Game Night, November 19, 2019, it was apparent that many gamers expressed interest in esports and especially in Super Smash Bros.
Two students, Grant Knowlton and Andrew Gudgeon, have a plan to start a Super Smash Bros. club, a likely predecessor to broader esports adoption.
Clubs without varsity and junior varsity labelings are still allowed to participate in ESO.
They are currently trying to get a petition signed for the club to take action, along with a faculty member of whom would be willing to be the adviser.
“It’d be… a weekly tournament for [everyone] who plays smash… [we’d] see who’s best and then compete against each other… then, every month we would try to have a ranking…” said Knowlton.
Gudgeon also added, “We had video game night, [and] we had a smash tournament. [The tournament] got really big; it was the biggest tournament there. It had the best turnout, [and] it had the most people… [There] was like 40 people. If [the club] gets big enough like that and schools agree, we could definitely go against them.”
Thom Ziems, the staff organizer of Video Game Night and the advisor for Robotics club, first made the idea public to students who attended Video Game Night.
In a sit-down interview, Ziems said, “Our I.T. department was asking about esports.” He then explained the “scuttle” about Super Smash Bros., which has been gaining even more popularity recently.
Regarding whether eSports would be labeled as a club or varsity sport, Ziems said, “…most sports here start as a club, and if the momentum is headed in the right direction, [then] it becomes a sport.”
With Anthony Wayne set to begin an official eSports team next year at their high school, there is even greater motivation to start a competitive team at Perrysburg to go head to head against the unspoken rival.
Chris Fiscus, a Best Buy in-home adviser that helps to build smart home systems and home automation mentioned that Anthony Wayne Schools recently bought 10 gaming computers. They set up standard gaming machines along with seven processors, according to Fiscus.
“[Anthony Wayne is] starting a gaming club this year with the being of an actual sport next year,” Fiscus affirmed.
Mr. Fiscus is the father of eSomethin writer Lucas Fiscus.
There will be a meeting for interested esports athletes Friday, December 6th after school in the auditorium.
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