MARICOPA — The Maricopa esports league was launched Saturday with its first event, Personal Computer Building 101, where the participants created the motherboard of a desktop computer. Kids were eager to experience an activity that some may find challenging.

“We feel this will give Maricopa gamers a chance to do what they love in a fun, competitive and social environment,” said Matthew Reiter, programming and marketing coordinator for the city of Maricopa.

Twenty-four kids of all ages were present at the event at Copper Sky, where they followed step-by-step instructions on how to build a motherboard.

To create the league, the city partnered with the Maricopa Unified School District, bringing students from Maricopa High School to assist, maintain and repair the equipment for the league.

Maricopa would be one of the first municipalities in the state to offer an esports league, which would be run similar to any of its other recreational leagues, such as soccer or basketball. The difference is, traditional playing surfaces are replaced by a sort of gaming “arena” with multiple gaming setups where gamers can converge to compete.

This is a step in getting kids introduced to an industry that has been growing at a massive rate, with often millions of viewers and lucrative payouts to those who reach the pinnacle of the sport.

In fact, it has gotten so big that many universities are starting their own teams, providing another avenue to getting a higher education for local students.

“There’s over 60 colleges offering scholarships in esports, so you can’t discount it as a productive activity,” Bravous Youth Esports Owner Scott Novis said. “Esports is also built to be the kind of program where your child is going to meet other people that share their interests in order to form the types of groups and friendships that exist in neighborhoods.”

According to a city press release, the computers being assembled will actually be in use for the league.

“It’s a great experience for me — I get to see more about the computers,” said Joey Goncelvaz, a MHS student who is part of the IT class that works with networking and computer maintenance. “I haven’t built a computer entirely. I just know what it is to work with computers.”

Goncelvaz, along with several other members, were present at the event to guide other kids through the process.

For more information, visit the esports facebook link at https://www.facebook.com/groups/407606690041511.

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