Springfield eSports facility aims to mentor teenagers with video game academy

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Contender eSports is opening a club-level academy team in hopes to help train, mentor, and guide teenagers to play video games with purpose and responsibility. 

Jesse Skagg, manager of Contender eSports, says there are plenty of sports clubs and youth organizations that exist to help children with a focus on a sport, but not for esports.

“I’ve had multiple coaches that I’ve looked up to, even more than my parents sometimes, that have molded and shaped me into the person I am today, and these guys are mission out on that,” said Skagg. “I want to provide that for them. As well as, honing their skills and maybe even put them in front of a university someday to help them get a scholarship.”

Skagg hopes to help kids learn what it takes to play at a professional level, while also learning essential life skills such as time management, social interactions, dealing with adversity, and physical maintenance. 

Skaggs is teaming up with Caleb Scott, the owner of H2O Zone gym, to help educate the kids on physical fitness and nutrition.

“It’s just a lot of small things that we can do to help kind of correct some things early on that will not be big potential things in the future,” says Scott. 

Similar to baseball or soccer clubs, you must attend tryouts to join the academy.

Tryouts are on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for ages 18 and under at the Contender eSports facility at 3010 S. National Ave. from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

For more information, you can go to the Contender eSports website.

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