Altus hosting first ever Oklahoma high school Call of Duty state championship

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 5:59 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2021 at 6:12 PM CST
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ALTUS, Okla. (KSWO) - Altus will be playing host to the first ever Oklahoma high school state championship for Call of Duty.

Over the last few years the esports industry of competitive video gaming has been booming, particularly in schools.

“Schools are finally saying hey this is a legit thing, kids can participate in extra-curricular activities, it keeps their grades up,” said Tyler Gray, Recreation Programmer for Altus Parks and Recreation.

Gray works with Altus Parks and Recreation to grow the esports program and is also a high school esports coach. He said he’s seen direct positive results, including better grades, from his students since they started participating.

“They feel included, maybe they don’t like basketball, they don’t like baseball or maybe things didn’t work out and it’s just not their sport. Now they have something where they can get a little bit of school spirit and they’re like hey I’m building confidence in myself, I’m hanging out with students I wouldn’t hang out with originally, the social aspect of it alone,” Gray said.

Now, they even have opportunities for college scholarships, as this state championship will have college esports scouts in attendance.

“So far we do have Oklahoma State esports saying for sure they’re coming. And Oklahoma City University and Oklahoma Wesleyan are coming and they’re going to have scouts. We offered to let them set up booths so kids can get information about the college and the esports side of things. They’ve got big time scholarships, so we’ll see what happens. It’s no different than if you hold a baseball showcase or the state baseball tournament and have scouts there. It’s the same exact thing, it is no different,” Gray said.

The event is December 18 and will feature 8 to 10 teams from all across the state. Gray said what the event really needs is spectators taking in the action.

“This the event you’re going to want to show up to to see what esports is all about. You’re going to see the smile on the kids’ faces, you’re going to see the full production value of esports. You’re going to see school participation in a new sport and you’re going to get to see classmates cheering on other classmates,” Gray said.

The event is December 18th at the Altus City Gym starting at 10 in the morning. It’s $5 to enter.

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