PIEA Opens Registration for 2021 High School
2021 Championship season to feature Rocket League and Overwatch competitions
HARRISBURG, Pa -- January 14, 2021 - The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Esports Association (PIEA) announced today that registration is officially open for its 2021 season, offering Pennsylvania high school Rocket League and Overwatch esport teams a chance to compete. The 2021 regular season schedule is expected to begin virtually in March, with the PIEA State Esports Championship held in May.
Schools interested in participating in the 2021 season must first visit interscholasticesports.org and register as a member of the PIEA. The PIEA will be in touch directly once the form has been received to complete the registration process.
“We’ve seen firsthand the positive impact that esports can have on students and schools as a whole, which is why we are committed to providing equitable and regulated competition to Pennsylvania’s high school esports programs,” said Langdon Ramsburg, a member of PIEA’s Board of Directors. “There is such a demand for schools to compete against their long-standing rivals in a structured environment similar to traditional high school sports. The PIEA exists to do just that, while at the same time empowering the next generation of esports and gaming talent to pursue their passion and advance their education in STEM.”
The 2020 PIEA Championship season was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the season’s cancellation, the league had more than 35 teams registered to compete. With the popularity of esports on the rise, the PIEA anticipates an even higher number of teams to compete in 2021. At a time when everyone is so disconnected, esports competition is one of the only ways for students to stay connected and compete as part of a team, all while remaining safe.
To help execute the season, the PIEA is working closely with Estars Studios, the leading independent production company for esports and video games, and Boom.tv, the leading esports entertainment platform and hub.
The PIEA was established in 2019 as one of the first governing bodies focused solely on esports within the country, with the goal of providing regulatory oversight and competition guidelines for interscholastic esports in Pennsylvania. The member-driven nonprofit works to position esports as a viable and credible high school program while educating school administrators, parents and community leaders on the many positive benefits of esports. The organization is also dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of all participating Pa. student-athletes. Bringing this to the forefront of competition, including all of the rivalries and consistency that high schools are familiar with in the traditional sports ecosystem, will be a primary goal of the organization.
Several high schools across the Commonwealth have expressed interest and excitement in joining the PIEA, saying the organization will help bring stability to a growing industry and provide a path to a state championship that means a lot to communities and school districts. Since the organization will be member-driven, it is vital for schools to be a part of the PIEA’s structure
“The high school esports scene is rapidly growing and it has been difficult to figure out what leagues and games to participate in to give our students the best opportunity,” said Aaron Krause, Manheim Township Esports General Manager. “We are looking forward to the PIEA state championship tournament to provide consistency, dependability and structure to Pennsylvania esports as we seek to become more established in our community.”
The PIEA has since aligned with the Pennsylvania Scholastic Esports League (PSEL), who will provide technology, curriculum and career development support to PIEA members, competitions and championships. The PSEL, led by the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU), focuses on providing students a safe and structured environment to play while focusing on learning and inclusivity.
"PSEL is excited to be working with PIEA to bring esports to students across Pennsylvania,” said Kammas Kersch, Educational Innovation Specialist with CCIU and head of the PSEL. “Together, we can support students, educators, and families in expanding the possibilities that esports can provide."
About PA Interscholastic Esports Association
The PA Interscholastic Esports Association (PIEA) is one of the nation's first high school governing bodies solely focused on statewide esports programs and clubs. The nonprofit is a collaborative effort between McNees, Wallace and Nurick, a law firm with an Esports practice to advise the industry on legal matters; the Hollinger Family, which already has part ownership of a Formula One race team; and, the PA Esports Coalition, a 501 (c)(6) nonprofit created to advance the development, growth and integrity of esports in Pennsylvania.