E-Sports program boots up at SHS

New sports program opens doors to gaming enthusiasts


Michael Santini

The Game Q lounge located on Main Street in Stroudsburg Pennsylvania

Michael Santini, Staff Writer

After three years of deliberation, an E-Sports Club is finally taking its first breath at Stroudsburg High School this year. 

The first club of its nature in the Monroe County area, this new activity is focused on promoting computer science, game development, and teamwork. Players/members will compete against other schools outside our Eastern Pennsylvania Conference in a few popular games like Apex Legends, Rocket League, and League of Legends.

The team members will be able to travel to the Game Q lounge on Main Street in Stroudsburg to hold their competitions.  They will be coached by the owner, Mr. Gregory Quinones, and 2017 SHS alumnus Mr. Matthew Smith-Stewart.

The employees and owner of the lounge are familiar with the scene, being directly involved with hosting events and being gamers themselves. Smith-Stewart graduated from Harrisburg University and is an avid E-Sports commentator and competitor, offering experience that should help the new club gain a competitive edge.

The club is officially up and running, and students can attend one of their meetings online or in person. For more information, please join their discord through this link: Discord   

With its many benefits and experienced advisers, it is no wonder the school is so enthusiastic.

Athletic director Mr. Sean Richmond described himself as “excited” because he sees the activity as a way to promote careers in computer science, information technology (IT), and general technology.

The SASD has embraced the project as another way to get students involved and prepare them for careers. However, in the past, E-Sports in schools has been a topic of contention. 

Over the years, numerous newscasts have attempted to connect games to violent crime and even mass shootings. And plenty of articles have warned parents against the harmful effects of video games, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and brain development complications. 

These were concerns while gaming was still in its infancy, but since its explosion in popularity with the pandemic, new data has surfaced to rebuke the old. 

According to a study published in January of 2022 by Frontiersin.org, a peer-reviewed, open-source scientific journal, earlier studies severely exaggerate harmful effects due to a lack of long-term data.

“This study is the first to investigate the longitudinal impact of student involvement in high school E-Sports and showed that E-Sports participation did not have a negative impact on any health or psychological factors,” according to the researchers in their abstract.

Although medical and psychological data is still in the works on conclusive health “benefits” of E-Sports, there are still plenty of reasons why the E-Sports program at SHS is a good thing.  

For example, gone are the days when making a career in the field was nearly impossible.

E-Sports has become incredibly popular since games like League of Legends, CSGO, and Halo put it on the map. The video game industry itself has expanded so significantly that even an average player can make more than six figures by utilizing streaming platforms like Twitch and Youtube.

Many CEOs and colleges are even looking for candidates with a background in E-Sports, especially in computer science and design. They find that students with experience have a talent for IT, teamwork, and a healthy dose of competitiveness. 

SHS has also recognized that the club is an opportunity to get more students involved in the community and cover a niche not considered before in the area. By approving such an activity, the district is once again making a conscious effort to make Stroudsburg High School and its activities more welcoming. 

“I’m so excited to get this club started,” said principal Mr. Jeffrey Sodl. “I think it’s going to be incredibly successful and will get some students involved in the school that don’t typically get involved. It’s going to be awesome.”

So check out the Stroudsburg High School E-Sports club!

Discord link for more information