Over Sixty Alaska High Schools Currently On Waitlist to Build Esports Programs with PlayVS
Esports platform partners with ASAA to offer organized esports programs for students, providing access to premier game titles and college scholarship opportunities
LOS ANGELES—PlayVS furthered its mission to bring esports to high schools nationwide by announcing Alaska as the newest addition to its roster of partnered states. The current waitlist to build an interscholastic esports program with PlayVS is over 13,000 schools long—68 percent of all high schools—and spans across all fifty US states. This puts esports on par with traditional programs like football, which is available in 14,247 schools.
Alaska’s environment is unique in terms of geography and culture. Alaska’s unique cultures are scattered throughout its expansive landscape. PlayVS enables teams to connect, compete, and interact with one another from hundreds of miles away on their own campuses.
“I’m incredibly excited for ASAA’s first esports season,” said Luke Meinert, Assistant Superintendent, Yukon-Koyukuk School District. “When Yukon-Koyukuk School District started the Alaska high school esports league in the Fall of 2018 I had no idea if it would take off. I appreciate PlayVS’s professionalism, expertise and innovation in the high school esports space to make this a reality for Alaska. I love that we are providing students with another way to be a part of the larger school community & showcase their awesome skills. I can’t wait to see all the action go down this fall and witness the multiple ways students can participate in their esports programs.”
“ASAA is really excited by the prospect of engaging additional students into educational activities,” said Billy Strickland, Executive Director, ASAA. “Regardless of the type of activity, research shows that students participating in educational based activities perform better academically, have better school attendance, and are less likely to use alcohol, drugs, or tobacco when compared to their non-participating peers. We believe esports will introduce an entirely new group of students these benefits. We look forward to seeing this activity develop over the next many years.”
“Esports provides a new opportunity for students to become athletes,” said Dr. Clint Kennedy, Director of Education & Acquisition at PlayVS. “It opens the door to scholarships, recognition, and newfound communities on campus. We are excited to work directly with teachers and schools to build out their esports programs this fall.”
During the first year of PlayVS’ ‘Seasons,’ esports teams nationwide had an average of fifteen players per program, with one in three players participating in their first-ever school activity. More than 70 percent of the students who participated said they found a community to connect with, and more than 40 percent plan on using their esports experience to apply for colleges and universities.
The cost to participate—$64 per player—is paid for by a parent/guardian or, in most cases, the school. This cost provides students with a full suite of unlocked, in-game content (valued at over $700) and access to the full games themselves (each valued at $20-$60). Most schools already have the required computer equipment in existing labs or libraries, making esports a simple, low-cost/high-benefit program to get off the ground. Schools can still register for the fall season for free by signing up at PlayVS.com. The deadline for schools to register for this upcoming Fall season is October 11th.
This year the Alaska Railroad is celebrating 100 years of transportation people and cargo around Alaska. While the railroad is one of the states oldest transporters, it certainly isn’t the only one, and in this issue of Alaska Business we also check in on the Marine Highway, Span Alaska, and the White Pass & Yukon Route. For those interested in Southeast, our focus on that region provides updates on Kensington Mine, Tongass FCU, the troll fishery, and Juneau’s growing landfill.