Esports programs growing at Valley schools

Clovis West is one of many Esports teams across the Valley, with most Valley school districts now having Esports teams.

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Thursday, October 13, 2022
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A popular extracurricular activity is gaining traction among local students and providing unique opportunities.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A popular extracurricular activity is gaining traction among local students and providing unique opportunities.

Esports is a form of competitive video gaming and it's growing among students.

At Clovis West High School, roughly 90 students signed up this year and they've already had the chance to compete against students from across the Valley.

The team started as a way to keep kids connected amid distance learning.

"I thought, why not video games," said Esports Advisor Anthony Bringetto. Kids play video games and it's an easy tournament to do, so I sent a mass email to all the students."

The team has quickly grown into a community.

"He sent an email out to all of the students asking if we want to join in and be a part of the program, so we tried out and made the team," said Senior Gannon Perez.

The Esports team has dozens of members, practicing daily both on campus and at home.

"There's a lot more than just playing a video game," added Perez. "We have to communicate, there's a lot of planning that goes into it."

"I've always been interested in competitive gaming," said fellow Esports member Erik Hurd. "I feel like you learn a lot of leadership and communication skills."

The team offers students the chance to represent their school in competition against various high schools and colleges nationwide.

"Mizzou, Florida State, Ohio State, they've played against all kinds of students," added Bringetto.

The team also teaches good sportsmanship without students having to hit the field or the court.

"In sports if kids have asthma, if they have a disability, that is a barrier for them Esports is barrier free," said Bringetto. "It's gender neutral, kids can play at home."

Last year, one of their students even snatched a competitive college scholarship

"If the money is out there and there's any way for kids to get it, let's have our students use their skills and go get money to get them through college," added Bringetto.

Clovis West is one of many Esports teams across the Valley, with most Valley school districts now having Esports teams of their own.

The team says they hope the next step is to build an Esports facility of their own.