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Esports teams benefit from WSU donation

CLINTON TOWNSHIP – Thanks to Wayne State University, Clintondale High School’s C2 Pipeline students were able to compete in esports leagues this fall.

The key to benefiting from this dynamic extracurricular is for Clintondale to offer activities that appeal to as many students as possible. And that’s were esports comes in. 

In 2018, the Pew Research Center reported that 97 percent of teenage boys and 83 percent of teen girls played video games. Some of these teenagers are involved in school-sponsored athletics and clubs. However, many are not. By offering esports as an extracurricular activity, schools reach students who often are otherwise disengaged from the school community. Esports can transport these kids from the solitary world of digital gaming into the common space of the school computer lab or library. They are more likely to be engaged during classes, more likely to graduate, more likely to aspire to higher education, and less likely to suffer and spread the harms of feeling out of place with their school community.

In October, Wayne State’s Computing and Information Technology department generously provided its C2 Pipeline site at Clintondale High School with nine computers that are a substantial improvement from the Core 2 Duo systems that were non-functional for esports.

Once the computers arrived, Clintondale students were busy swapping out parts, replacing Radeon cards with GT790 cards. They also installed hard drives from their previous computers. Windows and esports game installations – using USB boot drives – were performed for a few days.

Students downloaded, installed, and tried various games – For Honor, Valorant, Rocket League, ROBLOX, and Apex. They were happy with how quickly the computers booted most games running at over 30 FPS. But in the end, the computers passed the students’ test. The students also upgraded their gaming keyboards and mice from the 5 Below store.

The Clintondale technology department provided a dedicated Cisco access switch, and now the esports team has blazing fast Internet speeds for competitions.

The Dragons competed in two Michigan High School eSports Federation leagues this fall, finishing No. 8 in the Rocket League and No. 13 in the Valorant League.