virtual competition
Mississippi Magazine|November - December 2020
Esports has moved to the front lines in competitive gaming for high schools and colleges.
BUSTER WOLFE

No field, no court, and no contact, except on a computer screen. Esports, or high-level competitive gaming, has become one of the fastest-growing sports in the nation among high schools and colleges.

The Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) recently sanctioned the sport and regulates the seasons among the state’s high schools with fall and spring seasons. PlayVS, a national moderator of high school and college leagues, gives schools a way to compete with one another and provides the infrastructure for teams to manage players and schedules and track stats. PlayVS operates 23 state high school leagues nationwide. The current high school-level games allowed are League of Legends, Rocket League, SMITE, and Fortnite. The collegiate side of PlayVS enables schools of any size to compete for free.

Jacob Walker, the Esports coach at Brandon High School, has teams that compete through MHSAA. “There are a few games currently approved at the high school level,” he says. “PlayVS works with the state regarding which games they can facilitate. High school games are more strategy-based or sports-based.”

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