Guam DOE to launch high school E-sports League in early May

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The Guam Department of Education (GDOE) is proud to announce that it will launch an esports league for high schools next month. Esports has been touted as the fastest growing sport in the nation. The Interscholastic Sports Association (ISA) Esports League was created due to the cancellation of regular ISA sports due to COVID-19.

Following several meetings with high school athletic directors and coaches, the ISA Board of Directors voted to utilize Super Smash Bros as the method of competition for the esports league. Varsity Electronic Sports Organization owner Tegan Brown will be guiding the competition.

“We are excited to kick off this pilot program that will offer competition for our students who are looking for avenues to connect in a fun and safe way through gaming and technology,” GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said.

“We are expecting to learn along the way – especially considering that we are launching this league at a distance.  But with Mr. Brown’s expertise, I am confident that we will be starting off on the right foot,” ISA Acting Sports Program Coordinator Al Garrido said.

Latte Esports League founder Ken San Nicolas will also serve as an ISA esports advisor.  San Nicolas is a local expert who has run multiple esports competitions for all ages. Brown and San Nicolas agree that Super Smash Bros is the most viable platform to launch with because of its engagement and popularity among students.

Super Smash Bros is a crossover game that features characters from Nintendo franchises such as Pokémon, Super Mario and Donkey Kong. The pilot program will pit teams against each other in a meet format through three weeks of heated competition. Playoffs are slated to start in the final week of May. Students are encouraged to contact coaches by May 3, 2020 to confirm participation.

IMPORTANT DATES

April 29-May 3

Player registration period. Students must connect with their school coaches if they are interested AND have the capacity to participate. Waiver forms must be completed.

May 4; 2 p.m.

Players/Coaches ZOOM Meeting

May 6; 6 p.m.

First High School Esports Meet

CONTACT INFORMATION

George Washington High School

Coach Whatley – acwhatley@gdoe.net

Okkodo High School

Coach Camaya – jmcamaya@gdoe.net; Coach Felisan – smfelisan@gdoe.net; Coach Manibusan – jjmanibusan@gdoe.net

Simon Sanchez High School

Coach Cortez – edcortez@gdoe.net; Coach Pacheco – jgpacheco@gdoe.net

Tiyan High School

Coach Labrador – rplabrador@gdoe.net

Southern High School

Coach Diego – judiego@gdoe.net; Coach Flores – wtflores@gdoe.net

Due to the limited number of confirmed participants from John F. Kennedy High School and J.P. Torres Success Academy, students from both JFKHS and JPTSA may participate by affiliating with teams from other schools.

“The growth of esports in the mainland has been phenomenal. There are many high school leagues in the U.S. and countless scholarships are being offered at the collegiate level,” Fernandez said.  “We are hopeful that students will participate in the ISA Esports League and that we can grow this program to include other sports and games in the future.”

For more information on the esports league, please contact ISA Acting Sports Program Coordinator Al Garrido at algarrido@gdoe.net.