Image: Riot Games
As esports continues to grow, so does its recognition amongst schools. But while universities and esports leagues are becoming more and more common, infrastructural support at the high school level is much rarer. That's where the Adelaide Crows are coming in.
In partnership with Riot Games, the Adelaide Crows have expanded their esports venture to run a High School Esports League (HSEL). Schools across New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory will be eligible to enter teams into the league.
The top teams from each state and territory will be spread across four separate pools, with the best team from each state/territory qualifying for the High School League of Legends Australian & New Zealand Championships.
It's not the only high school league running across Australia, with the High School League (HSL) kicking off last year. It is the first high school venture that an AFL club has partnered with, however, which could help the much broader push amongst local organisations in trying to market the educational value of esports.
"It’s great to be able to connect students around Australia to such a large-scale Championship where they can engage in something that is a passion point for them, and in a competitive but supportive school-based team environment," Nigel Smart, chief operating officer of the Adelaide Crows, said.
HSEL is also backed by Bastion Live, an Australian marketing and creative agency which partnered with Avant Gaming late last year. The agency will help promote the league through its network, according to a release, on top of taking "a lead on growing partnership revenues".
The HSEL championship kicks off on May 28, with teachers able to sign student teams up through the official website. Teachers looking to sign up teams from their schools in the ACT, NSW, Queensland or New Zealand can register for the HSL, with entries open until June 29.
Update: Added other eligible regions for the HSL, and corrected "Riot National Championship" to its proper title of "High School League of Legends Australian Championships".