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Shelbyville, Ky. (November 27, 2018) Seth Reinhart is the IT expert at Martha Layne Collins High School.  In addition to his daily duties, he has started a new club, a sport, that has grabbed the attention of several students.  Esports is taking off across the country and around the globe. “In fact, several colleges and universities are offering scholarships for students to play on their esports teams,” said Mr. Reinhart.

Esports is a form of competition using video games. This new sport usually takes the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions between professional players.  Organized online and offline competitions have been a part of video game culture between amateurs for a long time. In the early 2000s, professional gamers and spectators enjoyed these events through live streaming and saw a large surge in popularity. By 2010, esports was a significant factor in the video game industry.  

Seth, himself, is a competitor and has participated as a “shot caller” in the World of Warcraft competitively. He believes that this is an outlet for kids who are passionate about gaming.  Organizing a school esports team “pulls kids out of isolation and gives kids a community.”

Mr. Reinhart is looking out for his students and working to build a culture at MLCHS. Moreover, he sees an opportunity for his students. “Esports can build a bridge to college for some of our students.”  Scholarships are offered at every big 10 college for their Esports programs.

“I’d really love to have a Twitch station for Shelby County Public Schools Esports. With technology, you can do so much.  We have an art teacher, Mr. Cockrell collaborating with a school in Oregon and they are doing a clay throwing competition. Technology opens doors for students,” says Mr. Reinhart.

A Twitch station would allow an Esport team to live stream a game and showcase the team’s abilities.  “It would build a brand for these students around the world.”

Mr. Whitaker plans to take his team to tour Western Kentucky University.  He’d like to connect his players to college level players so they can learn from them and their skills.  Currently, the students are playing the League of Legends. Seth would like for them to learn to commentate the games and help communicate about their games.

Seth has been invited to help host a webinar series for the company PlayVS, the league who MLCHS hosts all of their games through, to promote the rising eSports phenomenon on a national level.