New Zealand's First High School E-sports League Kicks Off

The New Zealand High School eSports League kicked off this week with more than 250 students taking to their mouse and keyboards in a 50-team competition that will span more than 12 weeks.

High school teams from Auckland, Bay of Plenty/Waikato, Wellington, and the South Island will play League of Legends, one of the world's most popular computer game titles, with the winner crowned New Zealand's national champions.

Auckland schools include Mount Albert Grammar, Mount Roskill Grammar, ACG Senior College, Kings College and Western Springs College.

The competition, set up by Let's Play Live on behalf of the New Zealand eSports Federation, will be the biggest high school league in Australasia, and those involved are adamant that eSports deserves recognition and respect from the rest of the sporting community.

Let's Play Live managing director John McCrae said the biggest challenge was convincing Sport New Zealand that it was a sport.

We have to go through a period of advocating the pros with Sport New Zealand and that it should be recognised as a sporting activity. How is darts or shooting or someone riding a horse around a track a sport, versus something where you have a team of five people with a coach, who are practising on a regular basis, who are mentally and physically applying themselves in a competition?
— John McCrae, Let's Play Live managing director