CSL Esports Moves into High School Esports With New Offering – The Esports Observer

Collegiate esports competition and academic services company CSL Esports has expanded into high school esports with the launch of CSL High School. The new competitive league will provide seasonal competition opportunities to high school students with its inaugural “Season Zero” launching in May. CSL High School will be initially restricted to Oregon and Nevada and is actively seeking additional partners. Season Zero will offer competitions for Rocket League and Dota 2.

Dota 2 is a somewhat uncommon title to see listed in amateur-level or scholastic competitions, but CSL Esports CEO Rob Johnson explained that the game scored highly in the results of a survey sent to west coast high schools. “This really isn’t a surprise to us,” he told The Esports Observer. “Each year we evaluate all titles that we play with Collegiate Starleague, survey the community and Dota 2 still scores strongly from the community.”

Additionally, CSL chose to focus on PC esports in order to provide schools with a greater return on investment in esports. As Johnson explained, gaming computers can be repurposed for other academic purposes “where a console may not offer the same amount of flexibility per dollar.”

As part of Playfly Sports, a company active in the scholastic stick and ball sports ecosystem, Johnson views high school esports as a natural progression. The company has operated the Collegiate Starleague for the last 11 years and will create a similar system in high school that “mirrors the educational and life-developing benefits found in a traditional student-athlete relationship.”

Johnson did note that the transition to high school will necessitate some adjustments to the established Starleague structure. With younger gamers comes a need to comply with ESRB age ratings, which will inform the titles added to the league in the future. Additionally, CSL’s platform has added security measures in place for working with minors. 

“We’ve spent the past year learning from high school state associations to understand their needs and feel we’ve created a compelling offering to help high school students gain the benefits of a structured esports league similar to a traditional student-athlete relationship with their school. “

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