Let the games begin: Esports becoming popular in Stark County-area schools – Massillon Independent

Let the games begin: Esports becoming popular in Stark County-area schools – Massillon Independent


Austyn Montana, who will be a sophomore at McKinley High School next school year, practices his moves for Rocket League as part of McKinley's esports team.

Learning the art of performing a double jump for a key goal in Rocket League. Knowing the best time to trigger Reaper’s “Death Blossom” ultimate to clear an objective in Overwatch. Emerging as the sole survivor from a hot drop at the “Boney Burbs” in Fortnite.

All things parents may have classified as a waste of time in past years. 

Oh, how the times change.

These skills don’t just help players climb online game leaderboards, they now can lead a high school team to victoryand possibly help players secure college scholarships. Welcome to the emerging world of local high school esports.

A Canton Repository survey of Stark County-area schools found that Alliance, Canton City, Lake, Minerva and Sebring have started an esports team within the past two years. Carrollton, Jackson, Plain, North Canton, Sandy Valley and Tuslaw are exploring competitive video gaming with some of them hoping to start a team as soon as this upcoming school year. 

Fight against 99 other players to achieve a Victory Royale in "Fortnite." Epic Games (courtesy)

Sebring Superintendent Toni Viscounte said her district became among the first schools in the area to offer esports in fall 2019 for a multitude of reasons. 

“Video games are becoming more and more mainstream,” she said. “From streaming to YouTube to even podcasts, gaming is becoming a
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