Noah J Nelson on Wednesday, Apr. 23rd
As eSports continues to mature and follow in the footsteps of traditional sports the ecosystem begins to take on a familiar shape. There are the big paydays, like the million dollars in prizes that were on the line in the recent CoD World Championships. Then there are the team marketing organizations, like Complexity, that are something like a Nascar racing team.
Now we can add college scholarships to that list.
Twitch, the leading game streaming platform, and electronics e-retailer Newegg are putting money into the scholarship pool of the High School Starleague (HSL) eSports organization. HSL promotes tournaments and inter-school competitions for high school aged e-athletes across a number of popular eSports (League of Legends, Starcraft 2, DOTA 2).
The $20,000+ scholarship fund has been raised as a way to promote high school eSports in the hopes of ushering “in a new era of eSports where excelling in cyber-athletics will be as respected as excelling in traditional sports,” according to the press release quote of Tomber Su, CEO of High School Starleague.
Who knows, maybe one day there will be as fierce of a competition to join the school’s DOTA squad as there is to get on the varsity football team?
Full press release after the jump.
High School Starleague Advances Scope of Esports with Unprecedented Scholarship Pool
Twitch and Newegg’s significant contributions to $20,000+ scholarship pool will help bring esports and academics to high schools across North America.
Los Angeles, CA – April 23, 2014 – High School Starleague (HSL), North America’s premier esports organization for high schools, today announced their next step in proliferating and legitimizing eSports at the high school level. With the financial support from Twitch, Newegg and other companies, the top talent in this season’s HSL League system will be competing for over $20,000 in college scholarships. This is a prize pool unheard of for the high school level of play, and a testament to HSL’s core mission of empowering the next generation of high school talent.
Over the course of several months, students have joined fellow teammates in popular games like League of Legends, StarCraft II, and Dota 2, fostering friendships and building rivalries with opposing school teams from across North America. HSL’s successful tournament format draws inspiration from professional tournaments such as Riot’s League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) and Blizzard’s StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS), where professional teams compete for prize pools in the millions.
“With these scholarships, the HSL will usher in a new era of eSports where excelling in cyber-athletics will be as respected as excelling in traditional sports,” said Tomber Su, CEO of High School Starleague.
“Through tournaments and scholarships, we plan to prepare our aspiring and talented gamers for the professional gaming scene, while simultaneously ensuring success in their education and character development outside of the game,” added Jesse Wang, COO.
HSL will be holding its finals for the 2013-2014 season this June in Southern California. These events will be live broadcast on Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers, at www.twitch.tv/hsstarleague. Twitch is also contributing $10,000 toward the scholarship.
“Twitch and their team have been invaluable in assisting HSL in its mission to bring eSports to schools,” according to Su. “Twitch’s platform not only makes is easy to watch pro players, but students of all skill levels can share their gameplay experience with their peers. Without Twitch, we would not have been able to broadcast our players’ games, while their financial contribution has almost doubled our scholarship offering.”
Newegg, the leading electronics e-tailer, will also be supporting the event by contributing $10,000 to the scholarship fund.
“Almost every high school gamer, including myself when I was 16, will at some point custom-build or purchase their own higher-end computer to take their competition to the next level,” said Wang. “I am grateful that companies like Newegg provide the services necessary for students to be able to customize and purchase their computers with ease. We greatly appreciate their generous contribution.”
High School Starleague Key Facts:
– Diverse Player base: With over 750 schools representing 46 States and 8 Provinces in HSL this year, HSL constitutes as one of the largest tournaments in the world.
– Rapid Growth: In the past year alone, HSL has seen an enormous amount of community support, allowing it to grow from around 500 players to nearly 4000 players, with many more expected to participate in future events.
– Academic Merit: Players in the HSL are not only are accomplished gamers, they are strong students. Over 50 teams represent schools on US News and World Report’s ranking of top 200 high schools, and the average weighted GPA of players is 4.1
– Proven Talent: Many former HSL players and staff are now making a career in eSports, including:
- Nicholas “Gleebglarbu” Haddad plays Support for Cloud9 Tempest
- Max “Astrea” Angel plays Protoss for ROOT Gaming
- Libo “Xenocider” Chang plays Terran for Evil Genius
- Aidan “Zirene” Moon casts professionally for Riot Games
About High School Starleague
The High School Starleague (HSL) is the premier eSports organization for high schools across North America and is widely recognized as the most professional organization in its field. Since its inception in 2010, HSL has organized over 15 separate events including online tournaments, inter-school scrimmages, and live charity events, which have involved over 1200 high schools and 5500 students. HSL also works closely with both school administrators and student run clubs to legitimize eSports as part of a school’s athletics or extracurricular program, as well as teach students to build eSports communities at the local level. While primarily a North American organization, HSL is laying the groundwork for an EU expansion in the near future. For more information, visit: www.hsstarleague.com/
Twitch is the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers where more than 45 million gather every month to broadcast, watch and talk about video games. Twitch’s video platform is the backbone of both live and on-demand distribution for the entire video game ecosystem. This includes game developers, publishers, media outlets, events, user generated content, and the entire esports scene. In February 2014, Wall Street Journal ranked Twitch as the 4th largest website in terms of peak internet traffic in the U.S. fortifying the brand as an entertainment industry leader and the epicenter of social video for gamers. For more information, visit: www.twitch.tv
About Newegg Inc.
Newegg Inc. is the leading electronics-focused e-retailer in the United States. It owns and operates Newegg.com which regularly earns industry-leading customer service ratings. The award-winning website has more than 25 million registered users and offers customers a comprehensive selection of the latest consumer electronics products, detailed product descriptions and images, as well as how-to information and customer reviews. For more information, visit:www.newegg.com/
IMAGE: High School Starleague