- PlayVS has expanded its agreement with Activision Blizzard and will now offer Hearthstone esports to high school students
- This will be the eighth title in PlayVS esports offerings
- PlayVS is happy to expand its roster of games and hopes to reach more aspiring esports athletes
PlayVS’s latest agreement with Activision Blizzard will see the former company offer Hearthstone esports to high school students.
PlayVS Adds Hearthstone to Its List of Leagues
High school esports league organizer PlayVS has signed another deal with Activision Blizzard. The agreement will see the former company add Hearthstone to its list of esports titles for 2022. What that means is that students will be able to experience a genuine Hearthstone and Overwatch esports experience through PlayVS’s exciting events.
PlayVS’s mission is to let young gamers experience what it is like to be a professional athlete. It provides aspiring esports players with leagues that are organized in the same fashion as high-level esports events, teaching participants about the intricacies of the esports industry.
PlayVS partners with some of the biggest video game publishers, including Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Psyonix, and Riot Games. Activision Blizzard is the fifth such. PlayVS has already worked with the company to host Overwatch events for three years now. The high-school league organizer shared that it is excited to expand its agreement with Blizzard as it admires the company’s efforts in growing the popularity of esports on a local level through its city-based leagues.
PlayVS’s Spring pre-season began yesterday and will run until April. However, schools can still apply for an esports program until 11 – three days before the start of PlayVS’s regular Spring season.
PlayVS has a team of 120 employees. It works together with 26 state associations and has received $107 million in funding. Over half a million users and 12,000 teams participate in PlayVS’s leagues. In total, PlayVS has paid $500,000 in scholarships since the beginning of its initiatives.
PlayVS used to have an interest in college esports as well but gave that up to dedicate all of its focus to high school esports.
PlayVS Sees Esports as Something that Can Unite Kids
Delane Parnell, the chief executive of PlayVS, spoke with GamesBeat about PlayVS’s mission. He is glad to see the company grow and offer leagues in more esports titles. Currently, PlayVS allows young gamers to compete in eight different titles.
Furthermore, Parnell is excited to see more and more schools join the initiative each year. Currently, around 28 kids per school participate in grassroots esports, which are fascinating metrics. He explained that the times when video game players were ostracized are over and now almost everyone plays video games. Because of this, Parnell believes that gaming has the potential to unite people.
Not only can gaming unite students but it can also help them connect. Parnell pointed to the pandemic and how gaming helped people maintain social contacts. According to statistics, gamers coped better with the quarantine and as a result, ended up with better grades.
Brandon Snow, the senior vice president and head of Activision Blizzard, is a firm believer in PlayVS’s cause. He explained that sports are a major pillar of the academic experience.
“A strong academic esports program helps foster a sense of community and positivity, which is a driving passion of Activision Blizzard Esports. We are thrilled to work with PlayVS to bring Hearthstone and Overwatch to high schools all across North America and develop the next generation of professional gamers.”
PlayVS hopes to soon introduce more games to its list, allowing high school gamers of all tastes to join a league. The company is sure that esports’ rising popularity will soon start to attract more people and more investments.