OPS to introduce esports teams to all nine high schools this fall


Photo by BaldL, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Students at Arcadia University, Glenside, Pennsylvania, compete in an Esports event. Esports is gaining popularity in universities and high schools around the country.

Adriana Valadez Cue, Reporter

Omaha Public Schools (OPS) are making a new addition to their athletics department by adding epsorts teams as an option, starting this upcoming fall season.
The plan for esports is to team up with Play VS, who is the top leader in the country for providing esports programs within high schools. The district will offer an “unlimited model” for the schools, meaning the schools can have as many participants enter as they wish for each high school.
“Our plan is to align with PlayVS who is the leader in the country in providing esports programs to high schools,” OPS Director of Athletics John Krogstrand said.
Students can join with no prior knowledge of esports and still be able to participate in practices and competitions. The district hopes to have “practice weeks” when the new school year starts in the fall to help coaches put their teams together and get students to join the team.
“Meaning we can have as many participants as possible at each high school with no prior knowledge required,” Krogstrand said.
As they plan to play or practice in a computer lab setting, all necessary equipment a student might need will be provided for them. Anything else that could end up being something a student might need, the school and/or district will come up with a way for it to be provided for the needed game or competition.
The plan to start it up will be to hold a few meetings where students can pair up in teams to try out the different games they have to choose from. The games that they are currently allowing are PC-based games, meaning there won’t be any console games allowed, although that could change in the future.
“I would definitely join and I know many others would, I myself am really hyped for this,” junior Caden Pruit said.
Each coach/sponsor will be able to decide how they want to choose their teams. Tryouts can be held with options for games such as League of Legends, Rocket League and Hearthstone. All the games will be free for students to play.