If it seemed like everyone and their mother took up gaming this year, that may be because playing became far more popular as social media transforms the industry.

Nearly all games allow for multiple players to interact inside the game, but this year as the pandemic kept people at home, game worlds further converged with social media. Gamers used livestreaming platforms like Twitch and Discord to connect as they play.

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Santa Monica-based PlayVS, a platform that organizes high school esports leagues, raised $10.5 million, SEC filings show.

The injection of money comes just as PlayVS is making a push to expand across all 50 states and diversify their offerings. The two-year old company raised $50 million this summer and with the most recent round, the company's total funding jumped over $100 million.

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  • As school gets back in session, the pandemic has limited the number of available extracurricular activities
  • PlayVS, which helps schools compete in esports leagues, expects participation this year to double or triple, due at least in part to COVID
  • Not all schools view esports the same way, and many are still considering the pros and cons

Under normal circumstances, going back to school is not just the start of a new academic year, but the renewal of extracurricular activities, whether on the debate stage or under the Friday night lights. This year, however, the pandemic has made gridiron glory and other activities nearly impossible. Could that lead to a banner year for high school esports?

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