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Welcome to APS Esports! Learn about upcoming events, the teams, the games, coaching information, and how to get involved.

2022 NMAA State Esports Championships!

The 2022 New Mexico Activities Association held their championship finals on Friday and Saturday, April 22 and 23, at the Berna Facio Professional Development Center. More than 1,000 people attended the event which featured esports teams from all over New Mexico competing for state championship status and individual titles.

Three APS high schools were esports state champions:

  • In A-3A, Early College Academy
  • In A-4A, Del Norte High School
  • In 5-A, La Cueva High School received an honorable mention and took 2nd overall.

Five APS high schools placed within the top 3 in individual titles:

  • Atrisco Heritage Academy
  • Cibola High School
  • Highland High School
  • Manzano High School
  • Sandia High School

Most importantly, the kids had fun and celebrated a successful year. Two high school seniors announced their college plans which include playing college esports in the fall.*

* Chris Simpson, Del Norte High School, will attend New Mexico Tech where he will study Communications and Physical Education and continue his shoutcasting career for the NM Tech Esports Team. Aiden Bennett, Cibola High School, will attend New Mexico State University, playing Rocket League and studying Electronic Engineering.

GO APS Esports!

APS Esports Transcript

APS Esports Albuquerque Public Schools.

[Inspiring electronic music.]

[Montage of students playing Rocket League.]

Dr. Richard Bowman Chief Information and Strategy Officer: APS esports offers our students who may not be able to participate in traditional sports such as basketball, football, volleyball, or track the opportunity to find a real sense of belonging and teamwork by representing their teams and their school in an exciting new sport.

Patrick Arguelles Principal, ECA / CEC: As the district takes hold of this, as more schools start participating, as we take advantage of the experiences like what La Cueva brought to the whole table with the amount of time they've spent doing this. And the fact that we have so many newbies and so young, so many young kids. Because we start to grow and develop this in the district, I think it's a legitimate alternative for many kids.

Rebekah Floryance Assistant Principal, ECA /CEC: Not only are they learning the nuts and bolts that they do in the classroom setting, here it's like taking something that's a hobby about a lot of fun and making it more relevant to life skills, time management, critical thinking. There's strategy behind it, so it truly is a sport you know and that everybody could participate in.

Dr. Richard Bowman: APS esports is gender neutral and any student with an appropriate GPA can have the opportunity to play and represent their school in an engaging and exciting competition.

[Esports coach and players celebrate goal.]

Dr. Richard Bowman: APS Esports' mission is to help students use computer and gaming skills with the focus on improvement, collaboration, and engaging competition.

Max Todd, Student / Esports Player: I've had a great experience so far. This has been my first year in the program. I've been playing Rocket League for as long as I can remember. I've started playing Rocket League in seventh grade and esports gave me the opportunity to expand.

Dr. Richard Bowman: Our vision is to help our students realize their full potential, inspiring confidence and inclusion.

David Ryan, Teacher / Esports Coach, La Cueva HS: You're gonna get kids from every population in a school. I had academic champions, I had state football champions, I had varsity student athletes. I had students that had never been a part of any club before.

Jacob Stewart, Student / Esports Team Captain, ECA / CEC: I know that this is sort of a stereotype, but as a kid, I was like I want to be a part of an esports team or I want to be YouTuber and I hear everyone say that it's a joke. I mean, everyone, everyone says that, and this is sort of become a reality because I'm on the esports team, I'm the captain of the esports team.

Larry Stewart, Esports Coach, ECA / CEC: The post high school scholarship opportunities and exposure to not just video games but online broadcasting is a big thing or video game development or computer science.

David Ryan: There are now esports tracks in colleges across the United States, there are scholarships that are offered so you can go to college playing video games to get money to do that.

Dr. Richard Bowman: The great thing about APS esports is that we're seeing colleges and universities recruit our players to join their collegiate teams, offering them scholarships and admission.

Patrick Arguelles: I think that it's important to give every kid an opportunity, and I'm looking forward to what our kids can do with this, you know, on both sides of the — in front of the monitor and behind the monitor. It's exciting!

Dr. Richard Bowman: I'd like to thank and congratulate all of our APS Esports players who made our inaugural season a success.

Esports players, in unison: APS Esports!

Jacob Stewart: Go esports! [Laughs.]

Thanks to all of our APS esports players, coaches, and staff who made our inaugural season a success!

About the Games

League of Legends

League of Legends is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) where two teams of 5 players control "Champions" to battle against each other in a race to destroy the other's base.

Gameplay takes place in an arena that has 3 main avenues for reaching your opponent's base called "lanes." These lanes are protected by mobile waves of computer-controlled creatures called "minions" as well as stationary defenses called "towers."

League of Legends requires a high level of individual skill to beat your adversary in lanes as well as expert teamwork in order to win the overall game.

As with most sports, League of Legends teaches the players teamwork, communication, strategy, critical thinking, and enhances their motor skills.

About League of Legends

Rocket League

Rocket League is essentially soccer that is played with cars - but ramped up to 11!

Like soccer, your objective is to propel a ball into your opponent's goal to score points, but the similarities stop there.

Each player controls a souped-up car that uses rocket boosters that enable them to perform crazy physics-defying stunts to outplay and outwit their opponents.

As with normal soccer, Rocket League requires lots of individual skill as well as coordinated teamwork in order to win. Communication is also a key factor for a successful team.

About Rocket League


SMITE is a MOBA similar to League of Legends mixed with a history lesson! In SMITE you play as a mythical figure from history or ancient religions. Choose a hero from ancient Greece, a beast from Norse mythology, or a god from the Egyptian pantheon. Learn about other cultures, myths, and legends while you enjoy the fast-paced 3rd person action of SMITE.


About Esports

What is Esports?

Esports, like traditional sports, is a competition between individuals or teams. These competitions, however, don't take place in a field or on a court. They take place in video games!

Games come in all styles and varieties, from 1 on 1 fighting games where fast reflexes and individual skill is paramount, to 5 vs 5 MOBA where teamwork and communication are vital to taking home the win!

While it's easy to equate playing video games with sitting alone in a dark basement, don't be fooled! Our players attend organized practices where they learn how to communicate with teammates, strategize with coaches, socialize with friends, and improve motor skills through hours of practice.

Benefits of Esports

If you're wondering how playing video games could be beneficial - don't worry! Lots of people have this same question when they first hear about esports.

Studies have shown that students who participate in organized video gaming events, like esports, benefit in several ways:

  • Improved students' spatial awareness
  • Multitasking
  • Fast-paced decision-making
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • College scholarships opportunities
  • STEM opportunities
  • Pathway to college

Most importantly, esports can also function as a way to help students who have trouble fitting in find an outlet. This can lead to huge improvements in those students' social lives, behavior, and grades.

Did You Know?

  • Esports is now an NMAA-approved activity
  • 200+ higher education institutions offer scholarships to players
  • $15 million worth of scholarships were awarded to esports players last year
  • 589 million people will watch esports by 2020 on live-streaming platforms

Future of Esports

While some form of video game competition has been around since Pong was first created in the early 1970s, esports has only been around in earnest for about a decade. Esports competitions have grown from a few dozen players and spectators in a warehouse to being live-streamed to hundreds of millions worldwide! In-person events are attended by hundreds of thousands of fans each year and as of 2019, there are 2 dedicated esports arenas, one in Los Angeles and one in Las Vegas.

While all of that sounds exciting, the really good news is that colleges around the world have started offering scholarships for students to play esports on their teams. In 2018 there were around 200 colleges that offered a combined $15 million in scholarships for playing esports, with the average student receiving about $4,800 a year! Colleges are also creating new curriculums around the esports industry, which is estimated to exceed $1 billion annually by 2020. Some colleges are offering courses and programs in esports management, marketing, and business, as well as established programs such as video game design and computer programming.

Our Mission and Vision


APS esports is committed to offering our high school students the opportunity to play competitive esports by providing an equitable playing field across the district.


Through esports, we will help our students realize their full potential by providing inclusion, enabling collaboration, improving confidence, and inspiring excellence.

Learn More about Esports

Want esports at your school? Interesting in coaching or a volunteer? Just have a question?

Email us at !

You can also visit NMAA Esports for information about esports statewide, or our Esports Google site for more information.

Contact Information

Main Phone: (505) 830-6846

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 25704 Albuquerque, NM 87125-0704

Physical Address:
6400 Uptown Blvd. NE Suite 520 East Albuquerque, NM 87110 Map