Sedro-Woolley students compete on online gaming team –

SEDRO-WOOLLEY — Electronic sports, or esports, have been gaining popularity throughout the world.

Competitions among those who play online video games have become so popular that high schools are getting involved.

This season, Sedro-Woolley High School entered the online gaming fray by forming an esports team.

Like most teams, the 21 Sedro-Woolley esports players share a common bond.

“It’s a group I click with,” junior Ryan Pierce said. “They are all there to play games and have fun.”

Jason Dilley, a Sedro-Woolley mathematics/statistics teacher and the school’s esports team coach, said esports are “competitive gaming at a professional level.”

Sedro-Woolley has had a gaming club for the past six years. However, its esports team is something different.

“It was more of a social club,” Dilley said of the club. “This team is much, much more competitive.”

To be eligible for the team, students must meet the same academic requirements as those who play more traditional sports.

Team members can use school computers for practicing, but when it comes to competitions they use their faster home computers.

“Formal practices are difficult because of the lack of decent computers at school,” Dilley said. “My dream is to get six to 12 gaming computers in my lab so teams could get specific times to practice.”

Sedro-Woolley recently joined the High School Esports League.

The league has four five-week seasons with teams placed in regions based on time zones.

The top teams from each region advance to playoffs, with the top eight teams from each season advancing to a 32-team elimination-style national final where $50,000 in college scholarships is up for grabs.

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