Esports goes mainstream at Wasilla tournament
Hundreds of teams from Alaska and the Lower 48 converged on Wasilla's Curtis D. Menard Memorial for MTA’s eUnlimited BYTE Tournament.
The Palmer High School Moose Overlords won the team title in the annual tournament, but MTA says the event offers players more than just prizes.
"We think these students are cultivating their passions around technology. They're honing in on an extracurricular activity and being part of a team," said MTA spokesperson Jessica Gilbert.
According to eUnlimited, esports have made their way into more than two dozen high schools throughout the state. The Yukon-Koyukuk School District started the Alaska High School eSports League last fall.
The Alaska School Activities Association has sanctioned esports as the newest school activity.
"We saw it had the capability of really engaging a bunch of students some of our current activities just aren't enticing to," said ASAA Executive Director Billy Strickland. "We feel like this is a way to find a niche of students that we want to get into the benefits of activities."
Esports is different from other activities as players will compete for state titles in the fall and spring.
"We did it that way because we know students may only want to play one of the seasons because they're already involved in another activity," Strickland said.
Players will soon take their game to a new level, as the inaugural season begins Oct. 14. Playoffs are set for the week of Jan. 6.
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