SHEBOYGAN — Esports shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, it's only getting more popular. According to Forbes, esports generated over $1 billion in revenue.
"Five years ago or whatever people would have said, 'esports?! Who cares about that,' but it's actually evolving like really fast," Sheboygan North High School senior Ben Kunstman said.
He is part of the brand new esports team at Sheboygan North. It's a League of Legends specific group. They are the 65th high school to join the Wisconsin High School Esports Association.
"It's been great so far. Like we had a month of practice before hand, so we like all our comfortable with each other. Get to know each other," senior Daren Thao said.
They will play eight teams over eight weeks with the state-wide tournament happening in March.
However, to coach and physics teacher, Dan Dielentheis, all these schools joining the league in just the past three years speaks to something much bigger.
"This is capturing a group of kids that no traditional sport captures. Cause for some of these kids it's the only opportunity across four years that they have ever been excited about, " he said. "Where this is the one time they get to feel like their passion is legitimized."
Sheboygan North High School just started a League of Legends team 🖥— James Groh (@JamesGroh_) January 29, 2020
They are 3 games in to their 1st season 💪
There was enough interest for a JV and Varsity team 👀
The number of HS #LeagueOfLegends teams across Wisconsin - 8️⃣0️⃣ pic.twitter.com/wCfNKS8DSE
This group of Sheboygan North gamers has the chance to prove that they deserve just as much recognition as any other sport or club.
"This was really for us to say this is a real thing, and we are going to treat it like we would any other sport or any other competitive extracurricular," coach and physics teacher Dan Dielentheis said.
After all, the team watches film, reviews strategies, and crunches data in anticipation of every match.
"We basically do whatever club or sport would do, so I think we deserve the recognition everything else gets," Ben Kunstman said.