Salpointe Esports was selected for one of three Gwoop Esports Enablement Grants in the United States. Gwoop
CEO and Co-Founder, Mr. Gavin Lee, notified Salpointe Esports Coach and STEM Teacher, Ms. Amy Ball, as the Spring season nears its end. Gwoop’s Mission per the grant application states:
Gwoop is a free online training platform seeking to help gamers improve core cognitive and physical skills. We believe that good quality video games offer a lot of benefits, and that competitive esports offers several positive opportunities for students. Our mission is to make training accessible to everyone, and provide both players and coaches not only fun mini games, but data and analytics. We train your brain.
Ms. Ball applied for the Gwoop grant during Salpointe Esports’ Fall season to fund esports scholarships, purchase team-owned equipment, and inspire more Lady Lancers and other underrepresented populations in STEM to join Salpointe Esports. This year our esports games included Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, League of Legends, and Rocket League. Most matches were streamed via Twitch, our VODs (videos on demand) were stored on YouTube, and our matches and news were announced on Instagram and Twitter.
In Spring 2021, Salpointe Esports earned AIA State Runner-up in League of Legends. At least one or more of our teams reached the playoffs in Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Fall 2021. (At the time of this writing, we have two weeks remaining to qualify for the Spring 2022 playoffs.)
However, our most significant accomplishment was in the lives of our student esports athletes. Consistent with national averages, 86% of our Esports Lancers represented Salpointe in their only school-sponsored extracurricular activity. These esports team members connected with each other throughout the challenges of pandemic conditions and into our second year in which they practice and compete on campus!
Esports is an AIA-sanctioned activity. A network of esports coaches throughout Arizona communicate with each other primarily through their own Discord server. The emerging industry of esports provides scholarship opportunities, unites students in friendship and common interests, and inspires young people to pursue STEM-related careers. Careers connected to esports include sports medicine, nutrition, psychology, law, and human resources as well as computer science. Salpointe students who are into gaming, streaming, and creating social media posts are welcome to consider a role within the Salpointe Esports teams.