KHSD hosts first-ever esports tournament

Students of North High School prepare for a League of Legends tournament against other schools in Bakersfield, Calif., on Saturday, May 13, 2018. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Video gaming has gone professional and it's expanding to the Kern High School District.

Saturday, North High School hosted the first ever League of Legends esports tournament. It highlighted competitive video gaming teams from Bakersfield High School, North High School, South High School, Golden Valley High School, and Ridgeview High School.

"It's just like you're playing a real sport, you need ordination, synergy, you need all these things to accomplish the objective," said Golden Valley High student Sean Whithing.

Around 100 students participated in the tournament.

Although, the program recently started, teachers say they have seen the impact it's had on some students.

"It's helped grades, attendance, and has given them that feeling of belonging and a good sense of competition," said teacher and esports coach at North High, Justin Smith.

Experts say esports will be a billion-dollar industry in the next few years.

Paul Mathis started e-sports at Bakersfield High School. He says dozens of colleges offer scholarships for gaming.

"UC Irvine was one of the first universities to offer a scholarship, they've now build an actual stadium for their gamers, they have full team scholarships," said Mathis.

Teachers are hoping to expand esports to more school in the KHSD.

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