THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — According to the Entertainment Software Association, more the 150 million Americans play video games. gamers can even earn college scholarships, and now in Georgia, high school students can compete at the varsity level.
Thomas County Central has long been an athletic powerhouse, but what if traditional athletics wasn't for you? Enter the Yellow Jackets E-Sports team.
"We scheduled an interest meeting back in December and I had over 125 students in my classroom, wall to wall, that really wanted to be a part of this," reflected Mark Thompson, the Yellow Jackets ESports head coach.
Sixty-one students decided to follow through, and their goal? The same as any athlete - win a State Championship.
"If we get a chance to go to State and I'm just like, that trophy right there, I want that trophy! That's amazing!" laughed Aaliyah Wynn, a junior at Thomas County Central.
"It's the same excitement I would see on the track when someone beats their best time on the 100 meter or beats their best height on the high jump," added Thompson.
Georgia is just one of five states nationwide to offer the sport at the high school level, and to give students another outlet to show their school pride is what it's all about.
"People that don't really talk, like communicate with others, this definitely builds communication skills and other leadership skills," said freshman Gavin Ryals.
"A lot of people don't have really their spot in actual sports and stuff," added Wynn. "This is a place for people to be. If you don't fit in that category - right here."
"When they finish here, they're not done. They go home and they continue to play," said Thompson. "They come back and tell me the next day, we did this and they did that. It's really amazing, especially to see it's affecting their whole life. Now they have their outlet."
An outlet that's looking to become another Thomas County Central powerhouse.