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The Atoka High School has gained a new sports team.
ESports has taken popularity across the globe and has now reached Atoka. Students involved in the after school program will play video games, competitively, against other schools.
William Bray, IT Director at Atoka High School and pastor at First Baptist Church Atoka, gives credit to superintendant Jay McAdams for coming up with the idea to bring ESports to the school.
“We want to help students find their people…it’s not just about playing video games. It’s about students finding their community and learning new skills.” Bray stated.
Students who would like to participate are expected to uphold a code of conduct, which includes no tolerance for cyber bullying.
While learning to work as a team the students will also be exposed to lessons commonly found in Communication majors like marketing and broadcasting.
Division One schools have also started offering scholarships for students who play ESports.
Universities like Oklahoma City University and the University of Central Oklahoma have already extended the invitation for students to visit their ESports arenas and sample what it would be like to play on a college level.
While Atoka’s ESports team will not challenge teams globally they will be able to compete in tournaments and scrimmages all across the United States without having to travel.
“It’s a spring league, so tournaments will happen in the spring and we will practice or scrimmage against other schools in the fall.” Bray commented.
At a meet and greet held by Bray at the school so far 15 students have shown interest. “We’re hoping to start scrimmaging by September.”
Once a storage room for extra desks, the room is now used for the ESports team.
Bray is planning two stations for the team’s 12 PC computers, along with Xbox console setup and a large TV to live stream games. Parents who have streaming accounts will be able to access and view the games as the students play other teams.
“We don’t want parents to think this is just kids playing video games, because it’s not… Students have the opportunity to play at a college level one day, and are still held to the academic standards of any other athlete.”