Harmony Science Academy launches e-sports team

After Harmony schools put a halt on sports and in-person activities, students were given a modern day alternative.
Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 11:05 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - After Harmony schools put a halt on sports and in-person activities, students were given a modern day alternative.

For the first time, e-sports were offered to middle schoolers.

The gaming world grows in popularity each day, it seems like everyday there’s a new game or console being released.

But imagine a school encouraging its students to play video games.

This school year, Harmony Science Academy launched e-sports club and tournament teams for its 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.

“I was really excited when it was first announced,” said Violeta Cardenas. “Gaming is actually something I like to do. For it to be a club at school is shocking.”

E-sports are competitive online multiplayer games.

Currently, the school has four teams competing in different e-sports leagues with three Nintendo Switch gamer team, and one PC gamer team.

Teams compete in games like Super Smash Bros game, Mario Kart, and Minecraft tournaments.

The students attend virtual practice each week and then virtually compete against other students from across the country.

“One of our members is in a very high position in the Minecraft league and currently our Mario Kart team is ranked 12th in the nation,” said Ojeifo Okhiria, club president.

Violeta Cardenas is one of those stand out players, dominating in Minecraft.

“Being the only girl, people would not expect much from me but it’s pretty cool.”

School officials say this is just another way to assist students with fun new opportunities.

“It’s a lot of team building and right now, with the pandemic, a lot of parents are worried that they are not getting that interaction with others students,” said Pedro Alaniz, teacher. “I am really happy that my students are coming together as a team, communicating, making new friends and making that bond.”

Even though this club was formed because of the pandemic, most of the students say it’s keeping them motivated during a unconventional school year.

“I am very happy they are able to do it because without this club I would be stuck at home doing nothing,” said Duane Conrad Vasquez.

Students can continue e-sports in high school and college.

It’s reported that over 200 universities are now offering a combined $15 million in scholarships and several academic pathways for online competitive gaming.

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