AN all-girls team is battling it out in cyberspace as esports grows in popularity at a North-East school.
Girls at Carmel College, Darlington, have been honing their skills at lunchtime and after school, reaching the semi-finals at their first attempt in this year’s Overwatch season.
They are hoping to follow in the footsteps of a boys’ team, which last year won the British Esports Association Championship National Rocket League, qualifying to play at Insomnia, a gaming exhibition due to be staged at Birmingham NEC at Easter.
Gamers from around the country play competitively in teams of three and six in League of Legends, Overwatch and Rocket League. Esports is just beginning to gain popularity in education with schools coming on board to compete.
Carmel College launched the Fortes Esports club as a means to harness the many positive aspects of computer games, including IT skills, research, reading, teamwork, leadership and enhanced social skills.
Carmel College maths teacher Mary Atherton said: “We are passionate about encouraging students to play in a sociable setting. We encourage them to respect their team-mates and the opposition.”
Esports is already opening up opportunities globally offering a host of careers and well paid salaries.
Mrs Atherton said she was delighted that the school’s boys’ team had won last season and would now be taking part in the grand final at Insomnia, an esports convention, at the NEC, Birmingham, to which school was organising a trip.
She said: “At the moment, few schools are involved in the championship but it is starting to grow as the benefits become apparent of preparing students for the future they will live in. For Carmel College it is great to be involved at the beginning of something which I am sure will grow exponentially.”