Competing for College: South Florida high school senior creates esports league for students to earn scholarships

(WSVN) - It’s a stressful time for parents of high school seniors. So many are trying to figure out how to pay for their child’s college education. Well, if your student has a knack for online games, 7’s Kevin Ozebek shows you how they can compete for college money.

Most high schools don’t allow students to answer phone calls in the middle of class.

Jordan Zietz: “What other information do they need?”

But, Pine Crest Upper School senior Jordan Zietz isn’t speaking to a friend or his parents. He’s taking a business call.

At just 17 years old, Jordan has created the country’s largest esports league for students.

An esport is a multiplayer virtual game like “Fortnite” or “Overwatch,” where players compete for big prizes in online tournaments.

Jordan Zietz, esports league founder: “This is business. Esports is a real thing.”

The idea to create a league was born after Jordan wanted to join one of the hundreds of existing esports competitions across the country.

Jordan Zietz: “We realized it cost several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars to actually register a team, get materials, etcetera, but I was like, ‘This makes no sense, especially for high school students. We don’t have that kind of money!'”

So Jordan decided to create a league his friends could afford.

The All-Star eSports League began just a year ago with Jordan as CEO.

To make it affordable, he needed sponsors, and the biggest hurdle was getting adults to take him seriously.

Jordan Zietz: “Once you get up and start talking, and they realize you mean business, and look at all I’ve accomplished.”

The All-Star eSports League is the fastest growing esports league in the country, with prizes valued in the millions up for grabs. It’s free to join, and while they enjoy playing popular online games, these students are competing for something much bigger.

Jordan Zietz: “A free ride to college!”

Colleges like St. Thomas University recently awarded $60,000 scholarships to top players.

The school is among dozens across the country offering scholarships to recruit gamers.

Jordan Zietz: “Every school is kind of jumping on the bandwagon because there is such a direct correlation between esports prowess and merit.”

Students from more than 20,000 high schools across the country are now competing for college scholarships.

Juan Beaufrand, esports gamer: “As I was approaching college applications, I kind of knew that there was something I needed and something that interested me, but also showed how I was different from others.”

Parents who thought video games were a waste of time are now some of Jordan’s biggest fans.

Jordan Zietz: “I’ll get an email from a parent that says, ‘I wasn’t going to be able to send him to university or to college, but now, I am able.'”

For Jordan, he’s still not sure what college he’ll attend this fall, but he knows wherever he goes, he’ll have thousands of gaming friends waiting for him to log on.

All-Star eSports League’s website

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