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NZ High School eSports League kicks off next week

NZ High School eSports League kicks off next week, in partnership with ComputerPower Plus, is thrilled to announce that New Zealand’s inaugural high school eSports league will begin next Monday with more than 50 teams.

Schools from Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin have signed up to take part in a nationwide League of Legends competition called the High School League (HSL).

The competition is being organised on behalf of the New Zealand eSports Federation and begins on Monday, March 6 for North Island schools and Tuesday, March 7 for South Island schools.

The first HSL competition runs for 12 weeks with the Grand Final to be played on June 9. Each team will play against each other in a 10-week round-robin tournament, leading into the playoffs.

eSports is a great opportunity to engage students in their playing field and use their love for video gaming to build teamwork, sportsmanship, social connections, strategic thinking, break down barriers and focus on their schoolwork.

Manurewa High School High Tech Teacher Stephen Van Garderen says the benefit of embracing eSports is evident.

“Having an eSports team at school has allowed these students to actually come together and find some pride in representing the school,” he says.

League of Legends is a fast-paced, competitive online game. More than 100 million people play every month around the world. Two teams of five players compete during the game over different maps and game modes.

It offers endless ‘replayability’ for players of every skill level and League of Legends is an example of a strategic game that can enhance students’ science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills. Managing Director John McRae says this is the next step in eSports’ rise in popularity in New Zealand.

“The team is excited by the incredible response that we have had from teachers and schools about bringing structured eSports to schools,” McRae says.

“I am slightly jealous as I would have loved to have been able to represent my school in eSports back in the day. It’s great to see digital disruption bringing schools throughout the country together to compete for the first time, no matter their location.”

Thirty ComputerPower Plus students will assist with the administration, broadcasting and logistical support of the HSL for the duration of the tournament through TechCafé.

Matt Dawson, National Manager of TechCafé, says eSports is a great pathway for students looking to work in the IT sector.

“Through our involvement with local area networks (LANs), we’re seeing a high number of successful people in IT who are also into gaming. There are senior developers from large enterprise companies at these LANs and it just goes to show how gaming has created a powerful professional network,” Dawson says.

“As a specialist IT training provider this is something we have invested in. Gaming is both a pathway into IT and a career in its own right.”

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