Students in esports championship focus on leadership over competition

Students from across Wisconsin competed in the Wisconsin High School Esports Association’s 2019 Fall State Championship on Saturday at Madison College.

About 150 students from 24 teams competed, but students said the sport was about leadership more than competition.

“I was interested in team bonding,” said high school student Hunter Cochran. “I gained a lot of leadership and before this, I would say I didn’t have a lot of leadership skills.”

The sport is pretty new to Wisconsin. Saturday’s championship is the second one to be played in the state, and there are no national competitions available for the students.

James O’Hagan, the director of digital and virtual learning and esports czar of the Racine district, said esports give students skills for college. He also said that some colleges give out scholarships to students who play esports.

“This isn’t just kids sitting around and playing video games,” O’Hagen said.

Students competed in a variety of games, such as “Overwatch,” “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” “League of Legends” and “Rocket League.”

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