YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The City of Youngstown School District will be launching an esports team this coming school year.
The East High School Golden Bears ESports team will be mixed.
It will be based in East but open to students of one of the city’s high schools in grades 9-12.
“We believe students will work hard academically to qualify for a spot on our team,” said Charles Stark, grade 10 geometry professor at East and district esports program developer. “It gives a traditionally underserved group of academics a reason to come to school and prioritize their education.”
Like other athletic programs, students must meet academic and attendance requirements in order to participate.
Twenty-eight students will be part of the team for the first year. All will receive team jerseys.
There is also no cost to join the team.
“Esports teams provide students with a valuable gateway to top post-secondary institutions and career opportunities in a variety of fields,” said Josh Knutson, director of esports and virtual reality solutions at ByteSpeed, LLC, the company from which the district purchases esports equipment. “Today, more than 200 colleges and universities provide nearly $ 15 million per year in scholarships to esports athletes.”
The team will be part of Esports Ohio, which is made up of high schools across the state.
Members will compete in four games: Rocket League, Fortnite, Super Smash Bros. and Overwatch.
Most competitions are online so travel will be limited. Any required travel will include transportation.