MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) – Competitive gaming known as E-sports, is now part of Mission CISD’s Kenneth White Jr. High School curriculum.
School principal, Brenda Betancourt said the idea of the e-sports program came about while students were learning remotely.
She said over 100 students tried out to be a part of the e-sports program and that turnout was not a surprise for her.
“Were we surprised? No. We knew that there was going to be an interest because the students love doing that at home, that’s their past time,” said Betancourt.
Sixth grade student, Fredy Cortez said his parents were confused at first with the concept of e-sports.
“When I said the word e-sports, they were like what’s e-sports?
Cortez said his parents were understanding and have supported him along the way.
Seventh grade student Brandon Solis said he looks forward to continue e-sports because it has helped balance school and mental health.
“I like playing games here in school, just takes away stress of school and all the work that we do here,” said Solis.
Although e-sports is male dominated, student Ania Cuellar said she is happy to set the example that girls can play video games competitively.
“It’s okay if you’re scared, just try it out, you get better so it keeps you trying if you keep trying,” she said.
According to E-sports coach Israel Martinez, e-sports is not just a pass time. He said it is a skill that kids can learn at a young age and benefit from it in the future.
“I saw e-sport players making millions of dollars, they were building arenas for it and I said you know what this can be the future and they can start in school,” said Martinez.
Betancourt said keeping the program is a perfect example of evolving and providing other resources for students.
“It allows us to be competitive and also be nationally recognized,” she said.
Both Betancourt and Martinez said they look forward to see other schools joining in at some point.