Athletic Factory hosts tryouts for new esports program

Tryouts for a fresh esports program are being held at the Athletic Factory in Port Huron.

Entitled to take part are students from fifth through to 12th grades. They can both compete individually and as groups, offering them a chance to secure placement in one of the five teams.

Esports programs are a novel initiative for the Athletic Factory, an organization typically focused on combining athletic training with academic support for students throughout the Blue Water Area.

The Athletic Center’s executive director, Cliff Thomason, explains “Whilst we’re recognized for aiding physical sports athletes, we need to ensure we include young people that show more interest in non-traditional sports.”

Four games will be the main focus of the tryouts: Fortnite, Rocket League, Madden NFL 24, and NBA 2K24. However, Thomason mentioned that they are open to other game recommendations from students. They may even consider creating teams around these games if they are popular enough, mentioning Overwatch and Counterstrike as potential examples.

“We aim to have the players contribute to our decisions,” expressed Thomason.

The tryouts will take place at the Athletic Factory, 1517 10th St., Port Huron, at the following times: 4 to 6 p.m. on April 9; 6 to 8 p.m. on April 11; and 4 to 6 p.m. on April 16.

There has been a surge in the popularity of esports in recent times, with approximately 130 college programs starting up. Despite this, the industry has experienced a dip in recent years, with difficulties identified in the monetization of competitive events.

Thomason stated that the Athletic Factory is planning to employ the esports program to expose the students to computer skills. There will be a curriculum available to educate students about different programming languages, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence.

For further information, Johnathan Hogan can be contacted at

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