FEDERAL HEIGHTS, Colo. (CBS4) – The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) is piloting a program for e-sports in Colorado. High school students from Pinnacle Charter School spent their Saturday morning preparing for the season ahead.

“We’re building computers!” said sophomore Elliana Ortiz.

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She and a group of students spent their Saturday morning at school, assembling the computers they will use to compete in the school’s new e-sports team

“It’s really exciting for me, I’ve always loved video games, so this is like, ‘Whoa!'” Elliana said.

“Everyone was excited and we were just talking about it all day,” said Junior James Panya.

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He says the announcement that CHSSA would pilot an e-sports program was exciting and unexpected.

“It was a surprise to my parents, definitely their parents as well, they’re like, ‘But that’s not a real sport,'” he said.

Assistant Athletic Director Jared Shuck was excited to welcome students from the Strategic Games Club under the umbrella of athletics.

“It’s projected by 2020 that e-sports is going to be a $1 billion industry,” said Shuck.

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“We are able to take your Information Technology side and your competitive side and playing games and mold it all into one to create this e-sports program,” he said.

Teams will be made up of three members, competing in two different games: Rocket League and League of Legends.

All e-sports students will have to meet athletic guidelines and policies, meaning the same grade checks and attendance rules as other sports.

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It also means the possibility of scholarships

“I didn’t think that I could turn one of my passions of playing video games into something like this where I can have the opportunity to possibly get a scholarship from it.”

The 32 new computers will be used in the classroom setting as well, giving even more students access to powerful computing tools.

The students will start practice in December.

Joel Hillan

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