Retraction: Riot Games and PlayVS are not partnering up for the High School Esports League. The new partnership is for a different high school league by Riot Games. These are two different projects. Apologies for the mistake.
PlayVS, in collaboration with National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), is organising the first high school esports league in North America. 19,500 high schools from 15 states are eligible for the program and the application process is already open.
This initiative started early this year and back in June, PlayVS raised $15 million (£11.48 million) in a series A funding. Some of the investors include Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, the San Francisco 49ers, and CrossCut Ventures.
Now PlayVS is partnering up with Riot Games to bring the Season Zero to high schools in Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The teams will receive early access to the state-sanctioned League of Legends tournament in October 2018.
The league was set to start in October but it was delayed to February 2019 with a broader list of games and states taking part in the competition. The High School Esports League is based in traditional college sports with state associations divided into conferences. Throughout the seasons, the teams will compete online with end-of-season live events at every one of the participating states.
The High School Esports League is an all-inclusive event and players from every background, gender, physical conditions, and races are encouraged to enter the competition. Players are required to pay a $64 participation fee that can be paid by them or their school.
Teachers, athletic directors, and coaches can sign up and register their schools. The schools are allowed to host different teams.
Esports Insider says: The high school esports league is a new source of talent for the North American teams. Once they graduate from high schools, these athletes will have years of experience in an organized competitive environment. Young talent is exactly what teams in North America need.