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CCSD students take part in video game competition

LAS VEGAS - Students with good grades were able to show off their online video game skills Tuesday.

Qualifying CCSD students participated in a Fortnite competition at the Esports Arena inside the Luxor and it was just about fun and games.

"I love Fortnite, so I thought it would be a great thing to do on a Tuesday off," said Meahel Pitra, a sophomore at Las Vegas Academy of the Arts.

Spending election day getting their game on, several 8th grade and high school students showed off their skills during a special Fortnite tournament.

"We play Fortnite a lot," Pitra said. "Almost every Friday you can catch us and the boys just chilling playing Fortnite, but competing like anything, it adds a whole new layer to it."

The event was hosted by the Las Vegas Young Professionals Kiwanis Club -- an organization dedicated to providing opportunities for the youth.

To attend, the CCSD students needed to get good grades, A's and B's.

"Something to bank off of, to look forward to, if I do get good grades. Really helps me to increase my GPA in my classes," said Rancho High School sophomore ​​​Theodore Ciotti. "My GPA increased about from a 3.0 to about a 3.3 in a matter of weeks, just because I had something to look forward to."

This event isn't just about having fun, it's about inspiring teens to get involved and interested in the STEM fields.

"It hopefully gets to our mission of innovation thinking, leadership development and STEM careers," said Camille Alquilos, vp, Las Vegas Young Professionals Kiwanis Club. "Within the E-sports industry, there's many careers growing from that, from streaming to tournament organizing, to managing a whole arena so we're just making sure they know they have that option as they grow up."

And they're getting to experience those options now -- in Las Vegas.

"A lot of E-sports and competitive gaming in general, will have a majority of the younger generation opting to play it competitively, so we want to make sure that we know that one, we support them and we have a venue for them to be at that level of feeling professional," said Bassem Dahdouh, Esports manager, Esports Arena Las Vegas.

And when asked if they'll come back? The student gave and enthusiastic yes. The tournament was free for the students and some of them didn't leave empty handed. There was $600 in cash prizes awarded.

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