American High School Bans Fortnite From Its Esports Competition

Esports is becoming mainstream. It hasn’t reached the point where it’s fully accepted yet by society at large but there’s no denying that more people are aware of its existence now compared to two or three years ago.

One strong evidence that we’re still far away from total acceptance of esports is the recent issue regarding Fortnite being banned from a high school esports competition, specifically in Kentucky, USA.


Polygon reports that Kentucky’s high school athletic association (KHSAA) has decided to ban Fortnite from being included in the list of playable esports games for local high schools. They’re saying that shooter games are inappropriate for school settings and the fact that they weren’t consulted about the addition of Fortnite is also something that irked them.

For those of you unaware, the USA has its own official High School Esports League organised by a company called PlayVS. They’re an official partner of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and it’s up to them which game is chosen for high school esports.


Speaking to the Lexington Herald-Leader, KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett said that he and other states’ officials were not made aware of PlayVS adding Fortnite into the esports lineup. Other games in that lineup are League of Legends, Rocket League, and Smite.

Things aren’t looking good as Tackett is adamant in ensuring Fortnite is removed from the PlayVS lineup. The Washington Post reports that Tackett wrote that Fortnite‘s addition “violates the contract signed by PlayVS and the NFHS … and places the future of the program at peril” in an email.

KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett. Photo from USA Today High School Sports.

To clear things up, a PlayVS representative responded to Polygon and explained that Fortnite is considered a club competition (similar to Smite) and therefore seperate from agreements it has with the NFHS and 18 state associations.

Basically, club competitions aren’t part of the program that PlayVS offers to schools but rather it’s one of the companies business activities. However, the representative said that the company understands the issue of sensitivity surrounding shooter games and will continue to clarify things to correct the misrepresentation of their announcement.

Author: Burhanudin Zamri

Byrgenwerth Scholar and occasional writer. Likes well-timed dodges. Dislikes dialogue wheels.

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