4 years ago
Competitive video gaming, or eSports, is to be brought to the US high schools by a 25-year-old Detroit native, Delane Parnell. The governing body for the US high school sports is to team up with his startup PlayVS to work out an eSports league infrastructure. With the help of PlayVS, the high school teams will be able to battle for titles in state tournaments.
PlayVS: What’s the Idea?
The idea behind PlayVS is to provide gamers with a platform to operate on and recognition. Parnell believes that introducing eSports to the traditional high school athletics will facilitate the process. April 19, PlayVS announced landing a partnership with the National Federation of State High School Associations. The NFHS is an organization that writes competition rules for the US high school sports. With a reach of nearly 8 million high school athletes, the ambition is to introduce eSports across all 50 US states!
The PlayVS platform is described as a “virtual gymnasium, weight room, and trophy case” by its creator. There are 4 game titles high school students can select from to play, as well as practice on school computers, and compete. The 2 gaming seasons last 4 months, and each ends in a state championship. Currently, there are other game distribution platforms like Steam, but PlayVS is going to be huge.
Parnell says PlayVS platform will “download the scores of the game matches and publish the results on its own ranking of top gamers.” Also, each student will maintain a player profiles and a team page on PlayVS. The project will come alive in October, with high school students from 15 states getting access to PlayVS. According to Parnell, there will be 3 game genres: multiplayer online battle arena, fighting, and sports games.
Is eSports Industry the New Future?
It’s no secret, eSports is one of the fast-growing industries with a yearly increase of 19%. Only in 2017, some 335 million people watched/played eSports. The experts from Newzoo expect the global eSports economy growth by 38% to $906 million in 2018. PlayVS will set a competitive pricing policy by charging a monthly student membership fee of $16 paid by the school to grant access to the platform. In total, that will make $128 per year, which could be expensive for some students.
Parnell is prepared to face criticism claiming eSports isn't a real sport. In the wake of the Parkland school shooting tragedy, PlayVS will not offer shooting games. The percentage of students playing video games has increased to 72% in 2015. The attitude towards eSports is changing with US and Canadian colleges offering scholarships for eSports. As of 2018, an amateur can turn their hobby into a full-blown career in professional eSports.
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