What is esports?
Esports is team-based competition with specific rules set in the arena of a video game. Short for ‘electronic sports’, esports demands all the teamwork, communication, strategic thinking and leadership skills any traditional sport would.
Want more information to share? Parents' Guide to High School Esports explains the benefits of playing interscholastic esports.
Who is PlayVS?
PlayVS provides the infrastructure and platform for amateur esports, starting with high schools. We partner directly with game publishers and states to build and operate sanctioned leagues across the country. Through the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), PlayVS empowers students to compete in esports on behalf of their high school, with the opportunity to win a championship, just like any other youth sport.
Why should I sign up my team on PlayVS?
There are many reasons to join the PlayVS leagues. Here are our top 5:
1. Verified Coaches - We require each team to have a verified coach. Coaches must be faculty members. This results in more safety and security for players and fewer forfeits.
2. Player Value & Benefits - The participation fee is $64 per player, paid for by either the parent/guardian or the school. This cost provides access to in-game content, valued at more than $700, or the game itself, which ranges from $20 to $60. For League of Legends and SMITE, ALL characters are unlocked for competitive play. Rocket League players may receive a free Rocket League account. Players can link their existing in-game accounts to rack up stats for college recruiters and/or bragging rights.
3. Student Privacy Pledge - At PlayVS, the privacy of our players and coaches is our priority. We've taken strong measures to ensure all data is safe and protected. PlayVS has signed on to the student privacy pledge.
4. League Operations - We take care of the little things in order to allow coaches to simply be coaches. We provide all the logistical support you'll need: scheduling, rulebooks and standings. Our League Specialists provide a wide range of match day support from rescheduling matches to step-by-step IT troubleshooting. Through our partnerships with game publishers we provide experience directly with the games, so we can connect in-game names and track stats through our platform. This allows coaches to scout out opponents.
5. Partnered with the NFHS and states associations - We work directly with the NFHS and state associations to provide esports as a sanctioned sport. This means winners are recognized as state champions that receive the same prizes as traditional sports in the state.
What games are offered on the PlayVS platform?
League of Legends, Rocket League, Fortnite, Overwatch and Smite are the first game titles to be offered on PlayVS in partnership with game publishers Riot Games, Blizzard, Psyonix, and Hi-Rez respectively.
How will the league be structured?
Each school year is composed of two seasons -- fall and spring. Each season includes a week-long preseason, an eight-week regular season, and playoffs. Match times will vary based on your region.
Fortnite - Mondays
SMITE* - Mondays
Two consecutive games (best-of-two)
League of Legends - Tuesdays
Two consecutive games (best-of-two)
Overwatch - Wednesdays
Three consecutive games (best-of-three)
Rocket League - Thursdays
Up to five consecutive games (best-of-five)
* SMITE is not currently available in Arizona AIA, Colorado, Mississippi, and Rhode Island. Alternatively, schools can opt in to regional leagues.
Where will matches be held?
We are continuing to allow our schools to play from home for the Fall 2020 season. Check with your district administrator and state association for local regulations on after school activities. Please reference our Play From Home guidelines until further notice.
Do esports teams need a coach? Who can be a coach?
Yes! Each school is required to have an esports coach onsite for all matches. Any faculty member at school can be a coach for the esports program. If you need help finding a coach, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How many players are on a team?
Each esport can have an unlimited number of players on their team. However, a starting lineup for League of Legends and Smite consists of 5 players. Rocket League and Fortnite lineups consist of 3 players. An Overwatch team consists of 6 players.
We recommend that each team enrolls at least 1 substitute.
Who can participate on a team?
Students who are incoming freshmen or currently enrolled in high school are eligible to participate on a high school team and compete for their State Championship. All players must be 13 years old or older to meet COPPA requirements to create online accounts to participate in the games.
What equipment do students need to play?
Each player needs the following: one computer/laptop and one set of peripherals (mouse and mousepad, keyboard, headset, monitor). Consoles cannot be used, but console controllers that connect to computers are allowed. Students can use their own, or schools could provide these. Jerseys are optional.
How can non-players and parents watch matches?
Some schools choose to livestream their matches on their own channels and we encourage any school or player who to do this. PlayVS will be broadcasting State Championships. Beyond championships, broadcasting channels will be announced ahead of the postseason.
How do I get my school involved?
The PlayVS coach dashboard allows for easy management of your school's esports program. You'll be automatically notify you when the season starts and if you have outstanding management obligations. Creating an account and building a school profile usually doesn't take more than half an hour.
I need help. How can I contact PlayVS?
Our Help Center is the best place to get all your questions answered and issues resolved by our knowledgeable League Specialists.
The simplest way to get in touch with one of our helpful specialists is to submit a Support Ticket. This will get your email to a League Specialist who can respond to any questions or concerns you may have. Unsure about creating a ticket? This article explains how to create and track your PlayVS Support tickets.
You may also reach out through our chat feature. If we are not online for your chat, it will create a ticket. You will get an email about our response.
PlayVS Support is not offered over the weekend. Our Support business hours are Monday through Friday 8:00am to 6:00pm PST. Any questions or concerns outside of our business hours may not have League Specialists readily available to address issues or concerns. We will promptly address your ticket as soon as we can.