El Capitan High School eSports program seeks to grow

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SAN DIEGO – El Capitan High School’s esports program is looking to expand. In its second year, the program hopes to engage more students by raising funds and providing students with the right gaming devices.

The program is led by David Eckrich, the junior who founded the program last year. “We knew the kids were going to love electronic sports – they love video games. Now I’m like ‘Hey cool you can make some money playing video games.’ It just becomes a way for kids to earn scholarships and pay for their education, so their parents don’t have to pay out of pocket.

Jay Tweet, who taught at El Capitan High School for 15 years, says he supported David’s idea from the start. “It’s definitely one of the things that encourages us the most. Maybe our students who are harder to reach are proud to represent their high school in some way, just like a football player is proud to represent their high school, ”Tweet said.

The program has grown from 18 first year students to 34 second year students. Eckrich says the program helps students improve their grades because of the minimum GPA required to participate. “(There is a) minimum GPA of 2.5 regardless of what game you’re playing or what level you’re at,” he says.

The games are played on a computer during lunch hour or outside of school. Participating students participate in tournaments locally and across the country.

All members buy their own equipment, spending almost $ 3,000 to play.

Eckrich says he plans to raise money to buy computers for students who cannot afford to play at home.

“It’s a lot of money for a high school student and maybe a family to get involved. So what I’m trying to do is build a facility, and it’s not just a facility – a room with computers, that way kids who may not be able to afford it. paying for these kinds of things at home can come and play at school and not feel left out. “

Selena Minez, the only girl on the team, says more computers would mean more girls. “I feel like a lot of girls don’t really have computers right now, but they’re interested in playing a lot of games that require PCs. So I think if the school can get more PCs for gamers it might attract more people.

“Right now they’re sort of meeting on campus and we’re discussing the strategy and logistics for playing in the leagues, but the actual game is taking place at home and it would be nice to move that to campus,” especially for students who don’t have access to a powerful PC or the latest console, ”says Tweet.

David says the school has a goal of $ 4,500 to purchase the computers needed for the campus.

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