OVER 240 HIGH SCHOOLS ON PLAYVS WAITLIST AS ARKANSAS PREPARES FOR ITS SECOND YEAR OF VARSITY ESPORTS
LOS ANGELES, CA – September 18, 2019 – PlayVS, the company bringing varsity esports to high schools across the country, today announced the start of the Fall 2019 season. Last year 60 schools participated in Arkansas, with Greenwood High School (15-1) capturing the League of Legends state championship and Bryant High School (24-1) taking home the state Rocket League crown. The current waitlist to build an interscholastic esports program with PlayVS is over 13,000 schools long -- 68% of all high schools -- and spans across all 50 US states. This puts esports on par with traditional programs like football, which is available in 14,247 schools.
“We started our first season with a group of students who were passing acquaintances, and ended the season with a close-knit team,” said Coach Sean Foster, Bryant High School. “We saw leadership emerge from students who were finally given the opportunity to show what they were capable of, and their confidence grew as all of the hard work they put in bore fruit. Our students were looking forward to coming to school, and were excited for the new semester to start instead of dreading it.”
The idea of having a school Rocket League team hadn’t crossed anyone’s mind at Bryant High School just four short months before the team took home the championship. The state title win resulted in district-wide support for esports programs, and the administration even had championship rings made for Coach Foster and the team. For the second season, Coach Foster’s team was given their own space to practice and additional computers so even more students can get involved.
“The AAA is excited to start our second season of esports in Arkansas,” said Derek Walter, Assistant Executive Director, Arkansas Activities Association (AAA). “This is another great way for Arkansas students to participate in extracurricular activities. We believe that participation in activities helps our students succeed in every aspect of their education.”
“It is clear the impact esports has already had on these student-athletes, from bringing up their GPA to getting involved in school activities,” said Dr. Clint Kennedy, Director of Education & Acquisition at PlayVS. “We are excited to continue to partner with teachers and schools to empower students to pursue their dreams.”
During the first year of PlayVS’ ‘Seasons,’ esports teams had an average of 15 players per program, with one in three players participating in their first-ever school activity. More than 70% of the students who participated said they found a community to connect with, and more than 40% plan on using their esports experience to apply for colleges and universities.
The cost to participate -- $64 per player -- is paid for by a parent/guardian or, in most cases, the school. This cost provides students with a full suite of unlocked, in-game content (valued at over $700) and access to the full games themselves (each valued at $20-$60). Most schools already have the required computer equipment in existing labs or libraries, making esports a simple, low-cost/high-benefit program to get off the ground. Schools can still register for the fall season for free by signing up at PlayVS.com.
The deadline for schools to register for this upcoming Fall season is October 11th.
For more information on PlayVS, please visit https://www.playvs.com/.
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PlayVS is the premier high school esports provider, in partnership with the NFHS and 17 state associations. Its product is the single destination where players come together to compete, fans gather to spectate and coaches manage their programs. Through partnerships with top game publishers, PlayVS powers inclusive league and State Championship play across the nation. For more information, visit www.playvs.com.
ABOUT THE AAA
The Arkansas Activities Association is the statewide governing body for athletics and activities in Arkansas. The AAA's mission is to promote the value of participation in interscholastic activities in the AAA member schools and to provide services to the schools in a fair and impartial manner while assisting and supporting their efforts to develop thinking, productive and prepared individuals as they become positive, contributing citizens modeling the democratic principles of our state and nation.