First-Ever Pennsylvania Statewide High School Esports
Championship Announced for March 2020
Pennsylvania Interscholastic Esports Association Unites Schools from Across the Commonwealth for a Chance to Take Home the State Championship Title
HARRISBURG, Pa -- February 27, 2020 - The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Esports Association (PIEA), one of the nation's first high school governing bodies exclusively focused on esports, has announced it will host the state's inaugural high school esports competition. More than 50 high school teams from across all regions of the Commonwealth are expected to compete in The PIEA State Esports Championship in both Overwatch and League of Legends. Virtual matches will begin March 6 with the Grand Finals taking place live at the Whitaker Center for Arts and Science (Whitaker Center) in Harrisburg, Pa. on Saturday, March 28.
"Esports is the fastest growing sport in the world," said Ted Black, President and CEO of Whitaker. "We're supporting the leaders and all-stars of tomorrow by creating a high school championship that gives these young players the same competitive opportunities as football, basketball and soccer."
The PIEA State Esports Championship (PIEA Championship) is led by a group of prominent businesses and organizations partnering to support its formation and execution, including McNees Wallace 8z Nurick, the Hollinger family and the Whitaker Center. Each PIEA Championship partner brings its own unique expertise and plays an important role in fulfilling the vision of the PIEA.
"Our family has deep roots in this region and a passion for creating opportunities for its youth," said Kelly Hollinger. "It's even better if we can tie these opportunities into the growing fields of STEM and we have a lot of combined experience behind this championship."
The Hollingers will propel the PIEA Championship through their professional sports experience, with Brad Hollinger serving on the Board of Directors for Williams Grand Prix Holdings, a Formula One Race Team.
In addition, sports and esports marketing agency KemperLesnik has joined the Championship effort with a focus on sponsorship engagement, while Estars Studios, a global, independent production company and interactive platform provider for esports and video games, will handle the tournament production and fan engagement. Estars, which has produced events like the Mountain West Conference Esports Series Championships, the World Showdown of Esports and Amazon's Champions of Fire Invitational, will work closely with the Whitaker Center to ensure an unprecedented production and experience for this tournament.
"This historic event will elevate interscholastic esports in Pennsylvania and provide legitimacy to the video game culture that has emerged as the premier sport to watch and play," said Black. "Esports should be more than competitive video gaming. It should be purposeful and our mission is to encourage high school gamers to explore their interest in STEM, STEAM and Interactive Media. These competitors deserve a championship to prove their skills, and the Whitaker Center is the natural home for an event that celebrates youth, technology and innovation."
For more information on the inaugural PIEA State Esports Championship, visit www.interscholasticesports.org
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 Estars, an esports tournament infrastructure company. The mission of PIEA is to be a Pennsylvania esports advocate and resource for regulatory oversight and competition guidelines for interscholastic esports.