Hall STEAM Magnet is proud to offer Esports as part of our athletic program. Esports has become an officially sanctioned high school sport here in Arkansas and players across the state are changing what it means to be a student-athlete!
What is esports?
Esports officially stands for electronic sports, not to be confused with video games. Esports takes video gaming to another level with organized competitive gameplay between two teams, governed by its own strict set of rules and guidelines. The difference is comparable to a pick-up basketball game at a park versus a varsity high school basketball game. Esports requires teamwork, communication, critical and strategic thinking, creativity, sportsmanship, and leadership — much like traditional sports.
What does Esports look like in high school?
Like any other high school sport or extracurricular activity, your student will attend team meetings, practices, and official matches. However, since esports is played online, there is no travel required throughout the regular season. Players compete from their respective campus, supervised by a coach. Currently through PlayVS, students can compete in teams of five for League of Legends, and Smite, and teams of three for Rocket League, three of the most popular titles in esports. PlayVS recenlty adden Madden 21 and FIFA as option for teams as well.
Each school year is divided into two regular seasons, Fall and Spring, each with their own playoff season.
● Weekly matches and practices
● On campus, no travel
● State rankings
● Top teams compete
● Single elimination
● Online finals
What are the benefits of Esports?
Esports requires a tremendous amount of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity from players to achieve and sustain success. It reaches beyond traditional sports to create an all-inclusive environment that breaks barriers.
What are these games rated?
All games offered to high school students for competition purposes are either rated "T for Teen" -- games that are appropriate for students 13 years or older -- or "E for Everyone" -- games for all ages. Players must be 13 years or older to participate in the PlayVS high school leagues.
Should I be worried that my student is playing too much?
The amount of screen time should always be discussed and monitored. Just as in traditional sports, student-athletes must find a balance between practice, games, school work, rest, proper nutrition, social time, and, of course, sleep. One of the benefits of joining a formal esports team is that rules and practice schedules can be set and monitored regarding how much students can play during the week and on weekends. Setting clear guidelines for device and computer-free times and zones in your home will help your student find a proper balance between all of their interests. Additionally, with an esports coach, parents are able to discuss concerns and develop plans with them to help students stay on top of academics and extracurricular activities.