PlayVS Inc., the Santa Monica–headquartered high school e-sports league developer backed by Santa Monica-based Science Inc. announced Sept. 13 that Riot Games Inc.’s “League of Legends” will be the title played in the league’s first test season.
The first official season, originally scheduled for October 2018, will now begin February 2019 to give the company time to “work with early adopters to collect feedback” on the league. This beta testing season will begin Oct. 30 and conclude Dec. 11, and playoffs are scheduled to begin January 2019. Schools must register for the beta season by Oct. 29 in order to join the 12-match season.
Five states, including Connecticut, Rhode Island, Kentucky, Georgia, and Massachusetts, will welcome students to compete in PlayVS’ beta season. Any high school student within these states can sign up by visiting PlayVS’ website and creating an account. Interested students outside of the five pilot states are encouraged to create accounts anyway, in anticipation of PlayVS’ official inaugural season.
Unlike traditional sports, PlayVS allows any students to join a team and compete online, with no limit as to how many unique teams high schools can produce and no age requirements or tryouts. The participation fee for each student per season is $64, which PlayVS Chief Executive Delane Parnell said can be covered by schools as well.
Riot Games will allow PlayVS access to its popular “League of Legends” strategy/role-playing video game, becoming the first official video game partner for the company.
“We're excited to partner with PlayVS to take our learnings from college into high school, where players are eager for a better competitive ‘League of Legends’ experience," Matt Birris, scholastic program leader for Riot Games, said in a statement. "Riot aspires to make ‘League of Legends’ a generational sport, and partnering with PlayVS is a major step in that direction,” Birris added.
PlayVS has an agreement with the National Federation of State High School Associations, which governs high school sports nationwide. The NFHS will begin to oversee PlayVS’ first official season in February 2019.
Tech reporter Samson Amore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 556-8335. Follow him on Twitter @samsonamore.