SHREVEPORT, La (KTAL/ KMSS) – From the inception of the video game industry, players have competed for high scores and bragging rights. Now there’s even more on the line. The Esports industry is booming, providing gamers with college scholarships and the opporutnity to even compete professionally.
Here in Shreveport, Contender Esports Gaming Center and Caddo Parish schools are getting in on the action, partnering to establish a competitive high school esports league.
“A lot of schools already have clubs, but they weren’t doing anything competitively against each other,” said Andrew Hadel, manager of Contender Esports Gaming Center. “We reached out to see if they wanted to create teams, reached out to the school board and things like that to get a league together so that they could play different games against the different teams.”
“I think it’s definitely going to grow,” said Jushua Mayes, a sophomore at Southwood High School. “It started out small, but I’ve noticed that more and more people are coming to the practices and more people are trying to get into the games. It’s very exciting and we are really excited to do this.”
Currently, three Caddo Parish schools are participating in the winter league: Caddo Magnet, Northwood, and Southwood. CE Byrd and Captain Shreve teams will be added for the spring league, starting in February.
“A lot of kids didn’t realize that was an opportunity,” said Hadel. “We then presented an opportunity for them to come play and have access to an enviroment where they could actually shine and do the things they never thought they could get to do as a high school club.”
“You still have to put in work to be good at video games,” said Mayes. “Its just like the other sports, like football, basketball… I’m very excited and have been looking forwrad to this since we first started coming to Contender.”