PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Esports is changing the game when it comes to challenging who can be considered an athlete at high schools across the country. In Philadelphia, one school says its program is more than just gaming.
Mercy Career and Technical High School in North Philadelphia introduced esports to its students at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. As schools went into a hybrid model, esports was the first sport to come back.
Coach Sean Carchidi said esports is more than a game.
"It's a lot of management that goes behind the scenes if you want to be a live streamer or a content creator and you want to do gaming," Carchidi said. "You can be a manager of the teams."
More than a dozen students are part of Mercy Career and Technical High School's esports community. Like any student who may play football or basketball or run track, they spend hours practicing and honing their skills.
"We'll do games on Thursdays and practice on Wednesdays," senior gamer Sabatino said, "and the practice has been a great opportunity to spend time with my friends and team build with people I don't know as well."
Carchidi said with esports, "the opportunities are endless."
Some students they just want to have fun like senior Ryan Brecht.
"There's so many people to interact with," Brecht said, "and every game has a community built around it."
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