E-Sports Thriving at LCHS

E-Sports Thriving at LCHS
Posted on 12/13/2019

Louisa County High School has taken a step into the future for the 2019-2020 school year by introducing a full-fledged E-Sports program for students!

LCHS is one of about 40 schools participating in the Virginia High School League’s pilot program for E-Sports.

Just as is the case with any other VHSL-sanctioned sport, students must meet academic and behavioral standards to be eligible to play.

E-Sports is a valuable outlet for students who don’t have an interest in traditional sports, but still want the opportunity to be on a team. 

“If you look behind me, it looks like a bunch of kids playing a game, but they’re really functioning as a team,” LCPS Director of Technology David Childress said. “We talk about The Five Cs, such as Collaboration and Critical Thinking, these kids are demonstrating that through this sport.”

Currently, the LCHS E-Sports program has more than 50 students participating. They compete in three different games: Smite, League of Legends, and Rocket League.

The games do not encourage violence in any way. Instead, they model high-tech versions of real-life games, such as soccer and capture the flag.

Administrators at Louisa County Public Schools say they welcome E-Sports because of how it encourages The Five C’s. Students must collaborate, communicate, and think critically to be successful in E-Sports.

“One of the things we look at with E-Sports is that The Five C’s are tied into everything the students do, and that’s exciting to be able to let students be able to have that opportunity in a real, game-like situation,” LCPS superintendent Doug Straley said. “They are competing, collaborating, having to be creative, having to think critically, and then showing good sportsmanship at the end.”

“We’re extremely exited about E-Sports,” school board member Sherman Shifflett said. “There’s competition and collaboration. Anytime we can get more kids in that green and gold, I’m happy and I support it.”

Louisa County High School’s E-Sports lab is state-of-the-art. it features more than 20 gaming rigs and windows where fans can watch the action.

The popularity for E-Sports is surging. Last year’s League of Legends World Championship had more than 200 million viewers. That’s more than the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four combined!

E-Sports also offers students the chance to further their education! Last year, 200+ colleges offered more than $15 million in E-Sports scholarships. That amount has more than tripled in just 3 years.

“What an awesome opportunity for students to be able to get scholarships and help further their education past Louisa County Public Schools and then go into college and get a degree,” Straley said. “It’s great to have some of that paid for by participating in E-Sports. It’s an awesome opportunity and I hope our students are afforded that opportunity.”

LCPS has invited various board members, community members, and media outlets to tour the facility to help demonstrate how beneficial an e-sports program can be.

“The community response here in Louisa has been outstanding,” Childress said. “Just to give you an example, when we held our tryouts, we had over 100 students come out to participate in E-Sports. That’s not just the kids that were a part of that, it was also the parents who were also asking, ‘Hey, what does my child need to do to participate in the E-Sports team?’”

LCHS E-Sports will continue to compete with other schools on Tuesdays and Thursdays until mid-January, which is when postseason play begins!

For video highlights, click here.


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