Esports gain popularity in high schools

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Electronic sports, or esports, is on the rise in the country.

With the rise in popularity, many school districts have added esports to their list of school sponsored sports.

Okemos High School doesn’t offer esports as a sponsored sport, but Brian Fuller, the athletic director, see’s the potential.

“Anything that can potentially add to the educational value of the students, I think the district has an obligation to at least investigate,” he said.

According to their website, they currently offer 31 sponsored sports from wrestling to golf to football.

“Even some of our athletic kids are involved in gaming,” Fuller said.

Like senior basketball player, Austin Gibson.

“It’s what I do in my free time,” he said.

Here at MSU, there are many clubs that revolve around esports, like the League of Legends Club.

Ryan Felten is the president of the club and says the sport didn’t start exploding until the last four years or so.

“In a way, they’re no different than traditional sports, so it makes sense that there is a scene for it now,” he said.

While esports may lack the physical aspect that comes with tradition sports, there are mental benefits.

“Skill involved is strategy and quick thinking and quick reaction, while in sports its about power or speed,” Felten said.

But, Gibson as well as Okemos freshman volleyball players, Carnen Rogers and Reagan McCarthy, think tradition sports should still take priority.

““It should not be their priority at all. Sports are their first priority, that comes second,” McCarthy said. “It’s like a club.”

Felten said it’s always good to include others.

“It’s a social gathering, it’s just something people can bond over,” he said.

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