FSD1 eSports program receives national recognition during its first year

Updated: Feb. 22, 2021 at 9:51 PM EST
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Florence School District One’s eSports program isn’t just the best in the Pee Dee or even the state, it’s now one of the best in the entire country.

The program rose all the way to number one in the High School eSports League’s Rocket League Winter Challenge. The competition consisted of 364 high school teams from across the country.

Florence One was unbeaten until they were defeated in Monday night’s semifinal round.

Despite the loss, the program has seen a lot of success in the first four months of the program. Head coach Wyatt Howle said it’s been magical to see his players compete on such a high level.

“To see them really open up and become superstars on the stage, and see their teammates coming up behind them, they become an entirely different person and coaches looking at them for collegiate offers it really brings out a more confident individual,” said Howle.

Florence One Chief Technology Officer Kyle Jones compared the eSports atmosphere to a football game.

“The same kind of adrenaline rush you’d get from a touchdown, you have a lot of that here as you watch the students compete,” said Jones.

The program is less than a year old, and Jones feels it is far exceeding expectations.

“In our state, we’re beginning to see this sport become normalized, and that’s impressive for us to be on top of that if we want to say we’re in the infancy in the high school area,” said Jones.

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