ESPORTS CLUB FOUNDED

Gamers gather to form eSports Club, begin exploring more advanced technology

ESPORTS+CLUB+FOUNDED

Josh Wells, Copy Editor

This school year the SHS Video Game club was re-imagined as the eSports Club. Instead of focusing on playing games and hanging out as the previous club did, the club is now focused on practicing and competing in the very new and very popular sport of video game competitions, also known as eSports.

eSports Club adviser Dalton Hawkins answered some questions about the club. “eSports is really big not only in the United States but across the entire world,” Hawkins said, “Schools in America are just starting to pick it up and I felt like Sandpoint could use something like that.”

While in America eSports may be a relatively new phenomenon to receive national attention, around the world in countries like china and South Korea eSports are huge with over 204 million viewers according to Newzoo, they will even premiere at the Asian Games in 2018 which is one level below the Olympics in international sports.

Furthermore, Hawkins is working hard to make sure that in addition to the club being a fun and competitive place for gamers to hang out, it also provides student with academic value too.

“ A lot of schools in America are starting to offer scholarships for eSports and I wanted students to be able to team-up and work together on a professional gaming level” Hawkins stated.

Students in eSports club may have access to scholarships centering around the new sport. Colleges nationwide are beginning to adopt eSports programs with eight new teams established in 2017, including one at Boise State University.

Junior Brayden Demko is a member of the eSports club and weighed in on the new club.

“[I joined eSports club] because I wanted an excuse to play video games at school with my friends,” Demko said. “I hope to do well as a team if we end up going to any competitions.”

The eSports club is currently working to obtain the proper equipment and computers in order to play at a competitive level. Hawkins is lobbying the school administration for access to district owned computers and setting up fund raisers for the club to by their own additional equipment. They have not yet scheduled any competitions but Hawkins said they plan on entering competitions later this year. Any students wanting to join the eSports club can email Hawkins at [email protected]