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Colin Lofgren, Writer

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E-sports is a growing hobby and profession for the world and has been only getting bigger. 

E-sports is playing video games competitively on a team against another team to work your way to the top.

Similar to that of football or soccer, there are playoffs that happen between schools or teams and the team must work their way to state championships.

Murray High School never had any E-sports faculties or opportunities until 2019. Bobby Leffel, now graduated, went to Principal Wihongi to show his love for gaming and to have the school start their very own team.

After lots of discussions and conferences, they supported an E-sports team. Leffel held a conference for whoever wanted to be in the gaming club.

Expecting there to be a couple dozen people to come, he waited for the meeting to start. To his surprise, the room was packed full of people.

Leffel decided he wouldn’t stop at Murray, so after graduating he went to the state to make it a school sanctioned sport.

The state supported Leffel under the conditions that anyone participating must have a good GPA and no behavior U’s. The state created what is now known as I-TEAM in order to have schools compete and teach leadership.

Ever since 2007, the release of the smart phone, video games have become popular due to the rise in mobile gaming. Fifty percent of the income that video games earn comes from mobile games.

Currently, E-sports is projected to be a $1.5 billion industry by 2020, causing many to jump onto the gaming bandwagon.

Colleges have begun to issue more scholarships than ever for gaming and there are many resources for people to improve gaming.

In the year 2016 there were only seven colleges that had an active E-sports team. Currently there are over 130.

High schools caught wind of this trend and began to support gaming and even made teams.

They have hired coaches and installed gaming labs within school grounds for students to improve their ability with video games.

Leffel currently runs the Gaming Lounge for students to go play games and get coaching from people who are there. The Gaming Lounge also lets peers work with each other to improve.

In the end, it isn’t always about the competitions, teams, or even the games. It’s about establishing a shared interest with others and creating a bond to unite people.