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Oklahoma High Schools Launches High School-Sponsored Esports League

Oklahoma High Schools have launched a school-sponsored, ten team esports league for the 2019-20 academic year — adding an incentive to go to school.

Sapulpa Public Schools is one of ten Oklahoma schools that will be working together to start up a school-sponsored esports league for the 2019-20 academic year. The teams will compete in Clash Royale, Madden 2019, Overwatch, Rocket League, and Super Smash Brothers Ultimate.

One of Sapulapa’s coaches Jessie Swayze said he started the league to “give the kids who nothing else to do a reason to come to school”.

The new extracurricular will function like any other. There are tryouts and you have to keep your grades up to stay academically eligible. Educators are hoping to use the league as a way to keep “the high school experience more relevant” for students who may not participate in traditional extracurriculars like sports or band.

Students are also expected to “stay above the vitriol” sometimes seen in public esports competitive matches. So student-athletes need to check their rage at the door.

Many schools give their students Chromebooks for homework and research. Those low-powered machines certainly won’t have the horsepower to run the game students will be competing on. So, teams like Sapulpa have turned to places like MSI to sponsor the team by providing gaming computers and peripherals.

Joining Sapulpa are teams from Union, Broken Arrow, Cleveland, Kingston, Lawton, Putnam City, Salina, Sayre, and Wilburton. Union Public Schools in Tulsa, OK will be hosting the competitions in its first year due to league rules and computer performance requirements.

The esports league’s season runs from September 2019 through May 2020. Union and Sapulpa are playing the league’s first friendly match on April 20th at Union High School.

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