Parents if you get upset because your teenage child plays video games all day, well stop getting mad, your child could be preparing to take on a career as a professional gamer. That path has officially started with the video game Fortnite officially becoming a high school and college sport thanks to an LA-based startup called PLAYVS.
The company partnered with epic games to bring competitive gameplay to the collegiate and high school levels. PlayVS launched in April of 2018 with a mission of bringing esports to high school, with a league akin to traditional sports like basketball or football. Through a partnership with the NFHS, high schools (or parents, or the students themselves) can pay $64/player to be placed in a league to compete with neighboring schools, just like any other sport.
PLAYVS is the first to get a partnership with EPIC Games, the maker of the world’s most popular video game. Even though other companies are setting up paid competitive leagues around video games, hardly any have partnerships at the publisher level. This means that those startups could be shut down on a whim by the publishers themselves, which own the IP of the game.
For PlayVS, the college landscape presents a new challenge. With high school expansion, the new NFHS fueled fast and expansive growth. Since launch, more than 13,000 high schools have joined the waitlist to get a varsity esports team through PlayVS, which represents 68% of the country. PlayVS says that just over 14,000 high schools in the United States have a football program, to give you a comparison. It also doesn’t hurt that the company has raised $96 million since launch.
The format for competition will be Duos, and organizations can submit as many teams of two as they like. The top teams will be invited to the playoffs with a chance to win a spot in the championship in May. Will you let your child play more video games now that this has happened?