ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Teen gamers from across the state are going head-to-head this week, for the high school e-sports state championships. It’s being held at the Berna Facio Professional Development Center. 

Teams are competing in games like League of Legends, Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers, and Rocket League. One student shared, “I never thought I’d be able to do video games as a job, as a hobby that I could actually pursue.”

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Marta Anderson teaches math at Del Norte High School but she’s also the school’s head e-sports coach. “We’re trying to see who’s the best of the best in all of it. It’s a lot of fun,” she said. 

Coach Anderson has been involved with esports for 5 years now. She also teaches an e-sports elective where students learn about video game branding and marketing as well as how to build pcs. 

Some students competing have even been awarded scholarships to take their gaming to the next level, making their dreams a reality. Aiden Lindeman plays for the Del Norte High School Esports team. He explains, “It’s a scholarship that allows us to pursue esports at a higher level. I will be attending NM state esports. It allows us to help pursue both of our academics and our careers in esports”

The e-sports community continues to grow in Albuquerque public schools. Dr. Richard Bowman is the district’s Chief Information & Strategy Officer. He shared, “This last year we’ve expanded to over 1300 students across high school, middle school, and elementary school so I’m really happy about that.”

APS leaders say they are looking forward to expanding e-sports even more in the future. Dr. Bowman explained, “This next school year we’re going to be having esports classes inside school as well as some of the after-school club programs that we have going on.”

The high school e-sports state championships will continue through May 6. It is open to the public and admission is free.