FOUNTAIN, Colo. - It's the perfect sport in the era of social distancing.
Esports are becoming a nationwide, lucrative endeavor. According to NPR, more than 170 colleges and hundreds more high schools have competitive Esports teams. Prize pools worth millions of dollars for the most popular sports (League of Legends, Rocket League) are regularly on the line for the world's top players.
Back in Southern Colorado, Fountain-Fort Carson's team is getting in on the hype. Beginning in 2019, CHSAA instituted a new pilot program to judge the popularity and success of Esports as a competitive activity in Colorado. It's taken off in a number of local high schools, and it's attracting all sorts of players.
"I saw it as a way to help those kids who didn't fit the typical athlete mold," Trojans Esports coach Charles Jeffords says. "To get some of those [students] who had different interests, to get them involved. And to get them something they can call their own and be proud of, just like the other athletes."
The Trojans Esports team is so popular, they've divided into a varsity and JV team of about 30 people. They play a different video game every semester, and take on other schools across the state. Every game requires multiple students, helping instill values like teamwork and communication in the virtual world.
I was never the sporty type," Kenneth Wolf Gibson said. "So I got to experience what it was like to be in a sport since i got in E-league. It really helped me with the whole high school experience."
CLICK HERE to learn more about getting an CHSAA-sanctioned Esports league at your school.