BAKERSFIELD, Calif — Despite all the changes in education over the past year, one after-school activity has been able to remain in play. The Kern High School District’s eSports program has helped students stay connected even while they were physically apart.
“The fact that I can bond with people through video games and also do it competitively is really cool,” Lily Grigsby, student at Frontier High School said.
Kern High School District created an eSports league in 2018, which allowed students to connect and play competitively with different high schools through video games.
“You’re not just sitting at home playing a video game, it’s really competing, playing as a team, it’s cooperation, it is growth. It is everything that you get out of traditional athletics but packaged together into video games,” Spencer Lawhon, eSports coach for West High School said.
In the eSports league, students play team-based action games called Overwatch and League of Legends. Over the past few years, the eSports league has grown and students attend practices weekly to discuss strategies and tactics, but it’s not all about the game, it’s about the team.
“I found many new friends through the club and they are also my teammates, and it wouldn’t have ever happened without eSports being a thing,” Alejandro Trujillo, student at West High School said.
Usually competitions take place in a classroom with all players in the same room but this past year with distance learning,