eSports is now a sanctioned sport in Oklahoma
By Bob Garcia
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association is officially in the eSports universe
Deliberation held during a monthly meeting of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) board in the middle of last week could mean that soon a student will be able to win a high school state championship by simply being skilled at Super Smash Brother or Madden. Unanimously, a motion to make eSports an OSSAA-sanctioned sport was approved by this board, which is a great step forward for the industry in the Sooner State.
PlayVS, an online gaming competition platform that partners with the NFHS, was able to secure a three-year contract following the board’s approval. The OSSAA plans to use the first year of this contract as an exhibition season before moving into full-fledged championship competitions. The idea is to slowly implement the project and see how well it is accepted by interested students, especially those who are considered eSports enthusiasts.
There is no doubt that this is clear proof of how the popularity of eSports has been growing with the times. Many states have wanted to give it the importance it deserves, making it an authorized sport and organizing different championships. A total of 15 universities in Oklahoma are currently offering scholarships for eSports, and participation at the high school level is also becoming a growing factor.
OSSAA executive director David Jackson said plans are to send out a Zoom link these days to a total of 60 schools interested in beginning to plan showcase competitions. If all goes well, the competitions are expected to begin later this month. Students will be able to compete in popular titles such as FIFA21. Rocket League, SMITE, Madden NFL 21, Super Smash Bros and more.