In era of quarantine, eSports competition thrives – Community News

In era of quarantine, eSports competition thrives – Community News

There’s a new kid in town.

eSports—organized, competitive gaming—is everywhere. Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons invested in eSports organization FaZe Clan last year. Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil started his own team. Michael Jordan, Steph Curry, Drake—they’re all dipping their toes into gaming ventures.

As eSports has become woven into the national consciousness over the last decade, it’s filtered down to the local level, too. High schools are starting their own teams, complete with practices and coaches. And camps—like the Summers at Pennington eSports programs—are following suit.

Competitive gaming is not new—video game competitions have existed since the 70s and only grew more popular as new platforms hit the market. You could find Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart tournaments at a local hobby shop, or you could catch a League of Legends championship airing on ESPN. With livestreaming services like Twitch, as well as more avenues for virtual collaboration, eSports is truly taking over.

“It’s really underrated how kids now can connect through these devices,” said Elliot Coates, director of summer and auxiliary programs at the Pennington School. “When I was a kid, we would go out and physically see friends, play in the yard. Now, they have a whole social network that they are able to connect with by playing games. It’s a way for parents to create that network of parent-approved friends, and it’s a neat way for kids to build authentic connections with one another.”

Summers at Pennington will offer two eSports programs this year: Pennington eSports and eSports Apprentice: Streamers