Summer esports: 4 opportunities to learn, play

Scholastic organizations help bring video game tournaments, camps and hands-on experiences to students virtually.

Scholastic esports leaders and teachers looking to keep players busy during the summer now have a number of free events available from several top student-focused organizations.

Along with events being planned by the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF), the High School Esports League has opened registration for its Summer Challenge, which will feature several leaderboard-style tournaments.

The Challenge offers both PC and console gaming for competitions in more than 10 games, including CS:GO, Overwatch, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Rainbow 6 Siege, Call of Duty,, Hearthstone, NBA 2k21 Pro-Am, Valorant and Minecraft. Students can win ASUS merchandise during the tournament, which runs from July 5-25, with playoffs set for early August.

“School may be out for summer, but students still want to compete. HSEL has put together an extensive line-up of tournaments in our Summer Challenge,” said Conner Alne, commissioner of HSEL. “As a team environment, esports is a great way for kids to stay connected socially over the summer.”

Another way for students to connect is through a free Junior CLG Virtual Camp being offered by NASEF and esports organization CLG. Created to give young gamers a chance to develop new esports skills and assess opportunities, the camp offers creative projects with CLG’s professional players, staff, and industry experts. The camps are effectively three weeks of one-hour session – Fortnite (July 12-16), Minecraft (July 19-23) and Gaming Careers (July 26-30) with a one-day bootcamp in Valorant (July 17) in between.

“These free summer programs are the first of many examples of the expanded impact that NASEF and HSEL will have as they jointly offer opportunities to members of both organizations,” said Todd Harris, board chair of NASEF. “Our goal is to reach even more kids with fun scholastic esports programs that will help them build life and career skills. These summer 2021 esports camps, challenges, and scrims, will do just that.”

NASEF also is also providing friendly competitions in League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, Madden 21, SMITE and TFT throughout the summer via its Scrimfinder+ tool.

Stride Inc. is also offering a number of camps, including a free-tuition, two-week esports and coding camp for students in grades 7-11 on July 19-29. Stride is offering two levels – basic and intermediate – to learn as well as competitions featuring Gamer Sensei coaches. Those who complete camps can earn badges to post on Tallo to show their proficiencies.

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