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Grissom High Students Win First & Second Place in Alabama Esports Finals

Two teams from Grissom High School placed 1st and 2nd in the state’s first ever esports finals held this week.  Students Kyle O’Hear, Ian Mackenzie, and Walker McGilvary earned the top spot in the Rocket League competition, and Josh Bryant, Julien Stone, Daniel Vansant, and Karsen Edlin finished in second place in the League of Legends battle.

Rocket League has been described as “soccer, but with rocket-powered cars”.  League of Legends is a multplayer online battle arena video game that has a global following.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association added esports to their list of official sports just this past year.  Schools that participate use a computer lab or other area in their building for the competitions, since each competing school is set up against each other in a virtual area.  There are some colleges that are even offering scholarship opportunities.  Both the University of Alabama and Auburn now have esports clubs.  Most students that play esports are majors in STEM related fields.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, esports (which stands for electronic sports) taps into such skills as teamwork, communication, strategic thinking and leadership.  The goal of the program is to enable students to participate in an activity that they love while also providing an opportunity to earn scholastic recognition.