Cincinnati Public Schools launched its first esports team in fall 2023. Since then, Technology grows and organized competitive gaming is expanding across CPS.
Esports is multiplayer video games played competitively at the professional gamer level. Aiken, Gamble, Oyler, Shroder, Western Hills and Walnut Hills students are building an egame community within themselves. With the expansion of esports from two schools in November to seven schools by School Year 2023-2024, esports is creating a school-to-school community.
“Esports allows students who may not be connected in any other sport or school-related activity to find a community or a place to belong. These diverse groups of students come together with a common purpose as they begin to work together as a team, and as they compete against other Ohio high schools,” Scott Sulek, Gamble esports coach, said. “They practice together, challenge each other, encourage each other, hold each other accountable for their sport and academics, and then play hard together.”
Esports is changing the way students see competition, engagement and creating a safe space for tech-savvy gamers.
“For my students, they play these same games when they go home, so why not have that same opportunity at school, in a competitive environment? They get to wear jerseys and represent their school by doing something they love, just like any other sport,” Christopher O’Brien, Oyler esports coach, said. “It also keeps them involved and occupied throughout the school year because esports has a fall and spring-season something no other sport can say.”
In the most recent competition at University of Cincinnati 1819 Innovation Hub esports lab, Gamble won the Super Smash Bros Ultimate tournament and Walnut Hills won the Rocket League tournament. Congratulations to both teams for paving the way for esports in Cincinnati Public Schools.