OVER 180 HIGH SCHOOLS ON PLAYVS WAITLIST AS MISSISSIPPI PREPARES FOR ITS SECOND YEAR OF VARSITY ESPORTS
Esports platform partners with MHSAA to offer students school-sanctioned esports, providing access to premier game titles and college scholarship opportunities
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 24 schools participated in Mississippi, with Tupelo High School (14-2) winning the League of Legends championship and St. Patrick Catholic High School (24-1) taking home the 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.
Coach Talon Halloway of Tupelo High School saw an eclectic and diverse group of students come together last year with one thing in common – their love for gaming. After working together day after day, the group not only became a community but a championship-winning team. Students who otherwise would not have been noticed at school were able to represent their town, their school and their peers for the first time.
“As a coach for the first High School Esports League of Legends Champions in Mississippi, I have seen firsthand how this can truly have an impact on students,” said Coach Talon Halloway, Tupelo High School. “The recognition these students received and the delight of them being able to represent Tupelo High School and come home with a victory, not only for themselves but the school, made me just as proud to be their coach.”
“The Mississippi High School Activities Association is looking forward to its second year of offering esports for our member schools,” said Don Hinton, Executive Director, Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA). “Providing opportunities for students remains a top priority for our organization. We believe strongly in the value of participation in school-based athletics and activities.”
“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 nationwide 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 is $64/player per season. 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 25th.
For more information on PlayVS, please visit https://www.playvs.com/.
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.
The Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) is a nonprofit organization for nearly 600 public, private and parochial schools that choose to join and participate. Its primary function is to provide leadership and coordination of interscholastic activities for member schools. The MHSAA is a self-supporting organization that does not rely on taxpayer dollars from any agency of the state or federal government.