ESports booming at Shafter, Kern High School District

  • Last Friday, administrators from Shafter High School were given a tour of the newly refurbished computer lab on their campus. The room is earmarked for many school programs, but it will be predominantly used by the Shafter ESports Club.
  • The footage displays the revamped lab where ESports Club members were spotted gaming during their break time.
  • 23ABC interviewed the club’s coach and students who expressed their excitement over the global expansion of ESports, and that Shafter High School hosts such a dynamic program.
  • As per Kern High School District officials, 20 schools within the district have integrated some variation of an ESports Program.


Let’s have a show of hands; who enjoys video games but may not be very skilled at them? I’m Sam Hoyle, your local reporter from Shafter, and guess who excels at video games? The Shafter E-Sports Club, which has some new facilities to work with.

The High School revealed its new and updated computer lab to their staff during lunch on Friday. Though the lab will accommodate many clubs, its main purpose will be to host ESports.

Much like traditional sports at high school level, E-Sports maintain a prominent presence in national and international limelight with professional and college-level teams emerging throughout the country. So much so that clubs like Shafter’s coach Nedy Lopez’s are scouting colleges with ESports teams for their members to continue the competition after high school.

“A lot of my students applied to colleges which had ESports teams. Not because they were actively scouted by colleges, but they preferred institutes that support their passion, so they can carry on with it at a college level,” states Lopez.

The industry, according to studies by Grandview Research, a San Francisco-based market research and consulting firm, was valued at $1.88 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow more than 25% year over year until 2030.

Looking into Shafter, it’s not just about keeping up with the growth of the industry or the opportunity to play video games at school, it’s about building a supportive community for gamers.

“Participating in ESports not only manages to dispel the solo player stereotype related to gamers, but also emphasizes teamwork. It cultivates a sense of unity among players,” said Branson Clandenen.

“Finally, I found the motivation I needed both academically and socially. As a freshman, I was lost. But thanks to this club, I can now interact freely with my peers, and it has helped me maintain my academic performance,” expressed Diego Delgadillo-Sanchez.

ESports is not confined to Shafter; it’s a global phenomenon. However, zooming into local context, apart from Shafter, Kern High School District officials state nearly 20 schools have an on-campus club or ESports program.

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