Tournament to Highlight Esports Opportunities

Loudoun County Public Schools, with help from Shenandoah University, will hold its first esports event April 6 at Freedom High School in South Riding, in hopes of providing legitimacy to the sport while engaging video-gaming students and promoting education.

The tournament will consist of three games: a team game of League of Legends and individual games in Super Smash Brothers and FIFA. The venue includes bleachers and large screens where visitors can watch students play.

Twelve of Loudoun County’s 15 high schools are participating in the tournament.

Shenandoah University, which will offer a bachelor’s degree in esports this fall, is assisting Freedom High School in setting up and running the event. The goal is to provide Shenandoah students the experience of working an esports event while sharing with Loudoun County high schools what the university is doing in its new program.

“Esports is an opportunity for students to fuel their passion for gaming,” said Director of Esports and Sport Management Joey Gawrysiak. “The industry needs managers, marketers, lawyers, promoters and more, now and into the future. Students can use esports to improve their skills in communication, adaptability, teamwork and competition, which will help them not only in the industry but also across a multitude of disciplines. The more students we can expose to the benefits of the esports industry, the better off the industry and the students are going to be.”

Competition for the Loudoun County eSports Championships begins at 9 a.m., with the semi-finals and finals beginning at 6 p.m. All Loudoun County High Schools are invited. Players will compete representing their high school.

Lockheed Martin and the Electronic Gaming Federation for High Schools also are tournament sponsors.

For more information, contact Joey Gawrysiak at jgawrysi@su.edu or Doug Fulton at Douglas.Fulton@lcps.org.

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