Video games are now a legitimate high school sport

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New Mexico is joining a number of other states in allowing high schools to officially sponsor varsity Esports.

At least six other states — Rhode Island, Illinois, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Georgia — allow students to compete in Esports as an official high school varsity sport.

Lisa Neirotti, a Sports Management Professor at the George Washington University, says Esports are just like any other high school sports. Teams with the best records will go on to play in a state championship.

“They are going to be a more well-rounded individual by joining an Esport team,” Neirotti said. “You also have to perform in school because if it is a school sport in order to do that you have to be a student as well.”

Neirotti says there is a growing interest and demand in Esports. She expects every high school to establish a club or team within the next five years.

“I would have joined ninth grade,” Maryland high school senior Benjamin Malek said. “I would have instantly been in it. Esports is just always something I have been interested in and I think it is something that a lot of high school students are interested in, but they don’t have any way to involve themselves in it outside of just playing with a couple friends outside of school.”

Malek says his Maryland high school doesn’t offer Esports, so he competes and practices at the Game Gym, a private gaming club that offers coaching and competitions for students. See more at KXAN.

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