Recreation departments in Dover, Medfield, Medway and Norwood are now offering young gamers a chance to take part in eSports competitions.
There will be two divisions in the newly formed Metrowest league – grades three-five, and grades six-12. Competitors will have a chance to play Madden 21, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, NBA2K21 and Fortnite.
According to Mark Ghiloni, director of Dover’s Park and Recreation Department, “eSports is one of the fasting growing industries over the past few years and is a far cry from what we grew up with in years past.
“The industry is booming with colleges/universities creating teams and offering scholarships to players, the IOC looking at ways to incorporate eSports into the Olympics and recreation departments looking to bring gamers together in a virtual setting.”
Ghiloni added that a National Recreation Park Association Conference held in Baltimore last year highlighted eSports, and that inspired him to reach out to recreation directors in Medfield, Medway and Norwood with the idea of forming a local league.
“A few months ago, the four towns came together to see if we can partner and offer a fun program for gamers in our community,” he said. “Rather than limit it to just our town, we thought we can partner and possibly start a MetroWest League. We already come together for traditional sports at both the youth and high school level, why not try it for this virtual competition.”
“It seemed like a natural fit with these four towns to start, and we hope to expand once we get established through other interested towns in the area,” said Kevin Ryder, director of Medfield’s Park and Recreation Department.
Both Ghiloni and Ryder envision this as a permanent program.
“The industry is not going away and will only grow. The number of gamers has grown, and it is an opportunity for children of all interests to take part in the program. We see it as an opportunity for kids of all interests (especially those that may not enjoy traditional sports) to enjoy the social interaction and a program that works in the current Covid times with no modifications,” said Ghiloni.
“I see it as something that will appeal to a number of kids in our community, especially those that may not partake in traditional sports or are looking for something different to take part in,” said Ryder.
Both directors said that Fortnite’s been the early favorite, and both hope that there will be enough signups to have the league begin for all games in early November.
“I also think as the weather turns colder in the coming months that interest will increase in these leagues,” said Ryder.
Those interested in signing up for eSports must have the necessary equipment; they need to own the specific game; own the game system; need an Internet connection to play the game online; need to have the online gaming account (such as Playstation Plus); and register with GG Leagues Gaming Systems for an online account. This information will be sent to registered participants.
About the league
These are the same details for all the leagues. This winter season will last six weeks of regular play with one week of playoffs (seven weeks total).
All leagues will be broken down based on skill level to provide an even playing field for all players, where applicable.
Regular season games will last up to an hour.
For the playoffs, the top four teams will play a single-elimination playoff bracket. Playoffs typically run for three hours for the winning teams, so please plan accordingly.
The gaming schedule
Sundays – Madden NFL 21 (Playstation4) (both divisions)
Tuesdays – Fortnite (multiple platforms) (both divisions)
Wednesdays – NBA 2K21 (Playstation4) (both divisions)
Thursdays – Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo Switch) (both divisions)
Standings will be determined through the GG Leagues platform.
“After each contest, players will input their results and the GG leagues site will update the standings through the season with a season ending tournament for the top players,” said Ghiloni.
To sign up, visit the recreation department for the participating towns:
Dover – http://www.doverrec.com/
Medfield – https://medfieldrec.com/info/default.aspx
Medway – https://medwayma.myrec.com/info/default.aspx
Norwood — http://www.norwoodma.gov/departments/recreation/index.php