IHSA Announces eSports State Tournament Series

By Benjamin Cox on March 29, 2022 at 10:39am

Photo Courtesy of the IL High School ESports Association website

The IHSA has announced eight sectional sites and 153 schools entered for the inaugural state tournament series in eSports this spring.

PORTA, Glenwood, Springfield High, Lanphier, Southeast, Liberty, and Athens are among the inaugural schools taking part in the new IHSA-sanctioned sport in the area.

IHSA executive director Craig Anderson told RFD Illinois the numbers are good for a first year and are likely to grow moving forward. The IHSA can adopt a new sport or activity when 10% of membership, which is approximately 80 schools, offers it as a club. Anderson said a survey two years ago revealed that more than 100 schools around the state were offering it as a club. Anderson believes that as the notoriety of the State Tournament gains traction, more schools will offer it as a team sport.

Anderson says the popularity of eSports around the country has exploded in recent years and he’s glad to bring the opportunity to Illinois students.

Colleges are also now offering eSports as a competitive, sanctioned sport in many locations around the country. In some cases, some colleges are offering scholarships for eSports participants.

The first ever IHSA eSports state champion will be crowned April 30th at Bloomington High School.