Varsity shift: esports on campus
(NBC News) Yohan Schwartz is treated like a star quarterback at Bradford Preparatory School in Charlotte, North Carolina…but that status was earned at a computer screen, not on the football field.
He defeated hundreds of other competitors in the Fall Majors Championship.
“We’re not weightlifting or running suicides, we’re constantly here training at computers,” he says, “Hand eye coordination, strategies.”
Competitive video gaming is a new varsity sport at Bradford Prep.
“It’s a lot more than just kids playing video games, esports is actually a sports league,” explains coach Tom Richardson.
The league now includes hundreds of schools across the country.
“As long as they have an internet connection, they’re able to be a part,” Richardson notes.
Players have to stay out of trouble and keep their grades up to participate.
“It’s made me a lot more involved in school, taking school a lot more seriously,” Schwartz says.
Now, Johan is mentoring the next class of esports players. He says his success is thanks, in part, to parental support
“I started playing competitively and my parents started to see what this gaming industry really was, and where it could take us,” he says.
It’s also a potential pathway to higher education, with many colleges offering scholarships to players.
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