With state championship on the horizon, esports makes its way to Pennsylvania high schools

Justin Udo
December 30, 2019 - 2:55 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — There's a new sheriff in town when it comes to esports in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Esports Association or the PIEA will govern high school and middle school electronic sports throughout the Commonwealth.

"Purposeful gaming is the goal of the entity," said Langdon Ramsburg, chair of McNees’ Esports Practice Group.

He says the association will focus on putting structure around sports played on a computer or video game console that, until now, has been nonexistent, and dozens of schools are biting at the bit to start gameplay.

"All of them are really thirsting for the traditional 'I want to compete against my rival school,' so there is a big desire for that," he explained. 

Ramsburg says low start-up costs and little to no traveling costs are just a few of the incentives for schools to join the league.

"It's yet another tool for those schools to use to increase academic support," Ramsburg said.

They plan on working with universities to make sure the gaming has an academic component.

"It's not just game design, but it's graphic art, science, math in terms of engineering or coding or anything along those lines," he said. 

The league will hold its inaugural state championship in Harrisburg in March, with a full season starting in 2021.

It's not yet known what games schools will compete in.