MHS eSports team giving students opportunities to get involved, earn scholarships

MHS eSports team giving students opportunities to get involved, earn scholarships
Posted on 03/16/2021
MHS eSports teamMehlville High School launched an eSports program this year that has helped students stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic and is opening doors to new scholarship opportunities. 

“Colleges are starting to make a big push into eSports,” said Dr. David Pitts, Mehlville High School counselor and eSports coach. “We wanted to find a way for our students to get college paid for.” 
MHS eSports team
IMAGE: MHS senior Eric Wallace and freshman Scott Merseal practice as eSports coach Dr. David Pitts watches.

eSports refers to competitive video gaming. Players compete either in-person or virtually in popular games, which are streamed to fans all over the world. In addition to high school and collegiate teams, there are now also professional eSports leagues.

The school received an assist from the Maryville University eSports team. The program was looking to upgrade their systems after winning three national championships in four years and donated gaming computers to Mehlville High School.
MHS eSports team 2IMAGE: MHS sophomore Makayla Martin practices with the eSports team.
 
Dr. Pitts launched the eSports team this school year and received enough interest to form both varsity and junior varsity teams. 

“This is my first year at Mehlville, and I didn’t have any friends yet,” said Makayla Martin, sophomore at MHS. “When I heard there was going to be an eSports team, I thought that it sounded like a lot of fun.” 

In addition to having fun, the MHS eSports team has been highly successful competing against other teams from across the state. Varsity won their first four matches and were among the final three undefeated teams in Missouri. Junior varsity is 3-1. 

eSports has been growing in popularity in recent years. Many colleges are now offering scholarship opportunities for gamers. 

“We’re in a sweet spot for eSports because it’s still a fairly new activity in high school,” said Dr. Pitts. “Colleges are eager to get players in, so there’s scholarships available and not a ton of people taking advantage of it.” 

eSports has also presented an opportunity for students to stay connected with classmates in a year when a lot of time has been spent learning from home. 

“Our freshmen have never really had the opportunity to experience high school yet,” said Dr. Pitts. “Now they can jump into a match, meet new people from school, get excited and do things that teenagers want to do.” 

The MHS eSports team is currently competing in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate but plan to expand to more games beginning next school year. In addition to playing, the students are also learning about aspects of broadcasting games, developing logos and other skills that can translate over to their future studies.

Watch this video to learn more about the Mehlville High School eSports team. You can also watch them compete on their Twitch channel.  



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