FAQs:

What's this about?
Elk Island Public Schools is hosting a number of eSports tournaments that are open to schools in EIPS, EICS, and select Edmonton schools.

What are eSports?
In essence, they are video game competitions. For more information about esports check out wikipedia.org/wiki/Esports.

How long has EIPS been involved in esports?
While many schools have had video game tournaments in the past, the first organized inter-school competition was in December 2015.

Is there a suggested hashtag for these events?
We've been using #eiesports.

What games are students playing in these tournaments?
In the 2015-2016 season games will likely include League of Legends, Super Smash Bros: Project M, TowerFall Ascension, Halo 5, Rocket League, Magic: The Gathering, and Hearthstone. We are careful to pay attention to participants' ages and ERSB ratings.

What sponsors are involved?
During the 2015-2016 season sponsors have included EIPS, Microsoft, Nitza's Pizza, and hopefully CDW.

Why are schools organizing and participating in esports tournaments?
In addition to fulfilling outcomes from the front matter of various curricular front matter, many of the positive aspects of traditional sports are also evident in esports. Similar to other tournaments, these are intended to foster teamwork, confidence, and empathy in an environment that is both safe and fun for our students. Games are complex and mentally challenging, and gaining mainstream popularity. In recent years they have been filling sports stadiums around the world, and offering fame and huge prizes. The United States government recognizes esports players as professional athletes for visa purposes.

How does these events relate to EIPS Administrative Procedure 260 regarding field trips?
Similar to sports-related field trips, these are co-curricular activities in which "curricular ties that are established may be indirect."

Why are some events during the school day?
These events generally serve a population of students from our schools that are often under-served by traditional sports and fine arts events.

Which post-secondary schools offer esports scholarships?
While most post-secondary schools offer varsity esports teams, most esports scholarship programs are for post-secondary schools in America, South Korea, and Japan. However in 2015 a team from UBC won the prestigious NACC tournament, and a number of Canadian teams have qualified in 2016.

Can people make money playing video games?
While there are currently no cash prizes for our school-based tournaments, there are quite a few professional cyber athletes that make as much or more than professional athletes from salaries, product sponsorships, and prize money. Currently the largest esports tournament prize pool is for The International (Dota 2), which in 2015 was over $18 million.