Esports have not fallen off. It has become a rich industry backed by major tech companies and internet startups. Colleges will recruit skilled gamers out of high school. Professional teams recruit college students and sometimes high school students. Mitchell said he’s pursuing esports as another avenue for scholarships, hoping that it can fund his education at Oklahoma State University.
Several of the students trying out were already involved in extracurriculars. For many others, however, Sapulpa’s esports team was their first extracurricular.
Todd Borland, director of technology at Union Public Schools, said starting the esports league was another way to reach those students who may not play football or participate in band. Borland said esports is “another opportunity for us to ... make the high school experience more relevant for them.”
Other participating schools include districts in Broken Arrow, Cleveland, Kingston, Lawton, Putnam City, Salina, Sayre and Wilburton.