LUBBOCK, Texas — The Lubbock Independent School District has introduced an after-school program that allows students to play video games after school, and compete in E-Sports.
Brandon Grace is the head coach at the Byron Martin Advanced Technology Center.
He said students who are in his classes, or go to participating LISD schools, can join the E-Sports Club. He said he had to help get the club going.
“We’re getting them out of their bedrooms, out of their living rooms, out of the dark, and getting them involved in a school activity,” Grace said.
James Lee, 10th grader at Lubbock High School, has been playing video games since he was about 8-years-old.
“I play League of Legends,” Lee said. “You have to engage with the people on your team.”
The students can choose amongst three games: Smite, League of Legends and Rocket League. The students also compete against other students. The team recently returned from Dallas to compete in an E-Sports tournament.
Cameron Strong is an 11th grader at Coronado High School. He competed at the tournament and took second place playing Rocket League.
“It’s pretty cool because I wouldn’t know how to do it without the school,” Strong said.
Grace said their club currently has about 21 members, but the hope to keep expanding.
“We have been really pushing to get more and more students involved,” Grace said.
Grace said the club allows students to better their teamwork and communication skills. He said the students train to compete in something they are passionate about.
“It’s very entertaining,” Lee said. “It mixes my classwork and kicking back and talking to people around me.”
Grace said LISD provides them with support to compete because E-S ports are evolving and students can earn scholarships from playing.
“They love it, and they compete in it and they practice and they get better. It’s huge for them,” Grace said.
Grace said Lubbock High School will be holding an upcoming tournament.
The competition will be held at noon on October 12. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m. and admission to watch is $5. Students who win will receive prizes.