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Park Rapids Esports team qualifies for state

In their first season, the high school's computer gaming club is already sending at least one member to the Fernworks league state competition April 1-2 in Grand Forks, N.D.

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Park Rapids Area High School student Dawson Dahring practices with the League of Legends on March 10, 2022 in the Esports gaming lab, located in the STEM room at Century School.
Contributed / Chris Kirchner

The Park Rapids Area Schools’ Esports team has qualified to compete in the club activity’s state tournament.

Though not sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League, the computer gaming club started this year as an activity.

Esports coach Chris Kirchner called Esports “the fastest-growing high school activity in the U.S.”

The Park Rapids team participates in a league organized by Fernworks, a Fargo-based Esports company. Lane Oian, the business development director of Fernworks, said that 31 schools and more than 400 students competed in their inaugural season.

“Park Rapids School has a team that is among the top competitors,” said Oian, adding they’ve been invited to the league’s first-ever state tournament April 1-2 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D.

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“We are expecting 126 students to compete in the game title that they finished at the top in,” he said.

Kirchner said 18 students are currently participating in the program at Park Rapids Area High School.

“We have five separate teams that compete each week: chess, Rocket League, League of Legends, Valorant and APEX Legends,” said Kirchner. “Out of these five teams, one team confirmed their spot at the state tournament. We have an undefeated chess athlete, Danny Hoyt.”

He said the other four teams are “very close and fighting hard for a spot at the tournament,” and they will know more about who will be competing at the state tournament in a week or so.

MORE RELATED COVERAGE:
The winners will go on to perform at Section 6A competition Feb. 4 in Hawley.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at rfish@parkrapidsenterprise.com or 218-252-3053.
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