Esports offered as an extracurricular activity in Catholic schools in the Joplin area | Local News



JOplin-area Catholic schools have added a new extracurricular activity that allows students to play video games as a competitive sport and challenge their rivals at other schools in the state.

St. Peter’s Middle School and McAuley Catholic High School launched a student esports program with the help of a $500 local community grant from Walmart Supercenter No. 79 in Joplin.

Esports, or electronic sports, is a term used to describe competitive multiplayer video games. In a school setting, esports competitions are organized and supervised by teachers.

Catholic school esports teams in the Joplin area meet on Tuesday and Thursday. Students play between two and five games per week against other teams. The season started in September.

Esports teams from Catholic schools in the Joplin area participate in the MOSEF conference. The Missouri Scholastic Esports Federation is a 501(c)(3) grassroots organization that supports middle and high school esports programs across the state.

Esports teams have been expanded to other Missouri schools in Mount Vernon, Branson, Capital City, Hollister and Reeds Spring. The Joplin School District also offers esports for junior and college varsity players.

Instead of traditional sports gear, the esports team members are outfitted with video game controllers where they play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a Nintendo fighting game where different characters compete for victory. They can select any Nintendo character, and many of them are from games the students grew up in.

Molly Bond, esports coach and English teacher at McAuley, said the program helps students who may not be on traditional sports teams to be part of a community.

“We saw a need in our student body, and some of our students didn’t have extracurricular activity,” she said. “It’s something that interested a lot of students. These are students who are not normally on sports teams, and this allows them to be part of a team where they can develop different skills. It gives them the discipline to come to practice after school and in order to have it, they have to keep their grades up.

Bond said regionals are right around the corner and it’s getting quite competitive between schools.

“We have everyone from beginners to experts, which is cool,” she said. “Our high school esports team is made up of all girls, and none of them had played Super Smash Bros. before that.”

Colleges and universities across the country offer financial aid and scholarships for students involved in esports. Competitive gaming is very much a spectator sport with an esports audience reaching 495 million in 2020, according to market research firm Newzoo.

Daniel Horinek, a 12-year-old sixth-grader at St. Peter’s Middle School, said he was introduced to new friends in the group and would like to see the esports program grow in Catholic schools. of the Joplin area. Six students are currently part of the college team.

“It’s fun to play against other schools because you never know how good they’re going to be,” he said. “But you can improve throughout the game.”

Nicholas Fajardo, a 12-year-old seventh-grader at St. Pete’s Middle School, said he excels at Super Smash Bros. and knew he would be a valuable addition to the esports team.

“I had some really good experiences through it,” he said. “It made school a lot more fun.”

Source link


About Author

Comments are closed.