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  • Writer's pictureHigh School Esports League

From the HSEL Commissioner

Updated: Feb 23

To our wonderful community,

I would like to extend my heartfelt thank you for being a part of the Fall 2023 season! This year, we put a ton of effort into new initiatives to bring our competitions to the next level. I believe the season was a great success, but we can always improve. What matters most is that you –our educators and students– find value in our mission: providing every student with an opportunity to find and pursue their passions through gaming and learning in school. With that being said, I’d like to take some time to reflect on some of the major changes we made to our competitions this season.

Season Length

This was our first Major regular season covering 6 weeks, rather than 8. We made this change –as we do with most– based on our community’s feedback that 8 weeks was a bit too long, especially once the preseason and playoffs are included. Now that it’s over, I can reflect on some of the pros and cons of this shift.

  • Pro: A shorter season allowed us to push back the Fall season start date, allowing our schools more time to prepare to play a full season.

  • Pro: We no longer received reports of “end of season fatigue”

  • Pro: 6 weeks allowed us to allot a brand new “week 7” dedicated for makeup matches

  • Bonus pro: Makeup week allowed us to seed playoff brackets within 24 hours of each game’s season completing!

  • Con: Tiebreakers. With fewer matches, tiebreaker statistics were more important for the playoffs, yet there was less data to calculate W/L, Game Win %, Round Differential, etc.

We’ll keep an eye on your feedback before determining the season lengths for the 24-25 school year.

HSEL Premier

Next, three brand new competitions were brought to HSEL in addition to the Fall Major: Premier, Wild Card, and Training Grounds. We had a few specific goals with the Premier season:

  1. Provide a hyper-competitive level of play for our best schools

  2. Pull these top schools out of the Major tier, providing more schools with opportunities to experience success at multiple levels (Premier, Major Champ, Major Gold).

With a fully pre-scheduled season, we saw schools getting the opportunity to hype up their weekly matches, scout against tough opponents, and exponentially improve their skills as they battled through the best in the nation. Due to the format, we’ve already seen so many amazing stories coming out of Premier. Teams on “revenge arcs” after coming so close to Nationals glory, newcomers smacking statements with profound victories against former champions, it’s all been an honor to experience. We’ve already made some changes to how schools can qualify, with the hope of making Premier achievable for more top talent and fully-invested schools. Now that the current season has wrapped up, I can confidently say that Premier is here to stay!

HSEL Wild Card

Along with the addition of Premier came the Wild Card, a system designed to reward and “promote” the most successful Major tier rosters with a chance to prove themselves among the best of the best. It also acts as a last-chance qualifier into HSEL Nationals for our Premier teams. The Fall Wild Card will take place next month, so we’ll be closely watching how it plays out in January to see where improvements (if any) can be made.

HSEL Training Grounds & Intramural

With Premier moving the most competitive students to their own competition, Training Grounds was an attempt to provide a stable foundation of structured play for our new/beginner skill-level schools. Some of you may have already noticed the name “Training Grounds” no longer exists; in its place is “HSEL Intramural”. While the initial concept received widespread positive feedback, in practice, it was not adopted by many schools. With Intramural, we’re changing the focus. No longer will this be exclusively for beginners, but rather, a low-stakes and structured season of play for all skill levels. Our hope is to serve all students, including those who just want to play more casually.

Send Us Your Feedback

There is so much more I could talk about, but I want to end by turning the focus to you: our schools. We want HSEL, MSEL, and the Youth Winner’s Circle to be the best in K-12 scholastic esports. Every season, we survey educators and students to always have our finger on the pulse. Here is this season's! I implore you: take some time to thoughtfully answer these questions. Help us help you serve your students! We want all of your feedback, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It only helps us give you something better in the future. And I promise you, our team reads every single response.

If you’ve been with us for years, or if you’re just starting out. Whether it’s in HSEL, MSEL, or Youth Winner’s Circle, Generation Esports has a home for you. It's an honor and privilege to be able to serve this wonderful community. Until next time!


David Stone

Commissioner of Competition

HSEL, MSEL, & Youth Winner's Circle

"In esports, I found my community AND my competitive spirit. I’m so thankful for the privilege I had in school where I was able to explore my musical passion, and I want to play a role providing that same opportunity to the students now, tomorrow, and forever. I want to give students a reason to come to school, just like I had."


Generation Esports is proud to work with Intel to power scholastic gaming.


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