Skip to content

DCS E-Sports Provides Activity Opportunity Beyond Athletics

One of the fastest growing school activities in Nebraska is E-Sports and Dundy County Stratton has a team.
The Dundy County Stratton Board of Education approved the school joining the Nebraska Schools E-sports Association, or NSeSA, last fall and DCS E-Sports team had their first competition in late November.
The NSeSA was formed about four years ago with 13 teams.  They are now pushing 100 teams from across the state of all class sizes.
The NSeSA organizes the schools into leagues by size, sets schedules, picks which games will be played each season and organizes the state championships.
The growing popularity of E-sports gaming has fueled dozens of professional leagues across the globe. Revenue-wise, the industry is exceeding expectations, with figures crossing the ten-figure threshold in 2020, according to some reports.
Several colleges and universities in Nebraska have E-sports teams and offer scholarships to students to play on those teams.
The Nebraska E-Sports competitions have three seasons, Fall, Winter, and Spring. Currently they are in the 2023-2024 Winter Season.  The Winter Season competitions go to January 11 with playoffs from January 15 through January 25 and State February 2 and 3.   The video games played are Mario Kart 8 and Overwatch.
The team structure depends on the specific game being played.  For example in the game Overwatch, schools are allowed a 5-member team plus 2-substitutes.
Each school/team must have a coach/sponsor approved by Administration. DCS High School teacher Mrs. Fox is the sponsor of the Tigers team.  She is volunteering her time.
There is no equipment costs to the school at this time. The computers in the school’s computer lab are meeting the needs of the team.   The registration fee to NSeSA was $100 and the team members were willing to work at the school concession stand to help cover that cost.
The team practices after school on Thursdays from 3:30pm to 5:30pm, as long as the sponsor is available.  All players must be academically eligible according to the DCS eligibility policy to compete.
It is the goal of the Nebraska School E-sports Association to support safe and competitive environments for Nebraska school students while promoting team building, communication and critical thinking through E-sports programs. These programs will provide an opportunity for more students to feel connected to school as well as provide future opportunities in the fields of technology and esports.
Mrs. Fox told the DCS Board last fall that the E-sports team is a “cool opportunity for the students”.  It’s a spot for those students who don’t want do athletics.  It gives students who may not otherwise participate in other activities a place to belong.  The E-sports students can be involved in the other activities as well.
High School Principal Troy Lurz, who was instrumental in getting the DCS e-sports going, told the board that one of the goals of the school is to implement and expand the learning opportunities to enhance college and career readiness.  He said he believes that is what the E-sports opportunity does. “If we get one student to go on and do something in a field that they haven’t thought of before , by giving them another opportunity, we have done our job,” he said. “ I think it is great.”
Two students, Josh Bracken and Zach Shapley, members of the DCS E-Sports team, also talked to the board about the activity.  Both were very excited to have the opportunity.   Shapley said the E-Sports team lets him hang out with friends, have fun, and how to get along well with others. Bracken said he feels e-sports provided him a learning opportunity to interact with people he doesn’t know and it gives him something to do besides just going home.
“There are a lot of people (students) in this school that don’t really want to do sports, but they are wanting to do something,” said Bracken.

Leave a Comment