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Forest Lake SHS leading the way in Esports

Jamie Furness    June 20, 2022    4 min read   

Forest Lake State High School has been leading the way in Esports in schools since 2018 with innovative school programs and a new curriculum designed to set students up for success in the growing industry of Esports.

Esports at FLSHS was initially introduced in 2018 when a group of students competed in a League of Legends Esports competition at UQ. An Esports lunch club was formed at FLSHS in 2019. 

Forest Lake State High School recently became a School of Excellence for the Fuse Cup. In a wonderfully competitive Mario Kart tournament held at St John’s Anglican College on Friday June 10, Forest Lake State High School took out the top prize and will progress to the State Finals at the end of the year.

FLSHS year 9 student Corey was crowned the Brisbane Fuse Cup Mario Kart champion, defeating the 3-time unbeaten reigning champion and fierce competitors from 14 schools. 

“That was my third year of competing in a row and after all the effort, finally winning was just mind boggling,” he said.

The school also placed Top 3 at the QUT High School Esports tournament on Saturday, June 11, 2022, with the Rocket League Team winning their tournament and great sportsmanship and teamwork on display from all representatives.

Corey, Fuse Cup Mario Kart Champion 2022

Digital Technologies Head of Department Mr Raatz said Esports was being taught to more than 90 students across grade 9-11, and more than 80 students are regularly involved in the Esports lunch-time and before-school programs.

“The Esports curriculum covers more than just playing games, but a broader ecosystem of educational processes that lead to gaming,” he said.

“We might have 1 percent of students that become professional gamers, but there is always a team of people who back up and support the gamers.

“We do gaming skill development … then we talk about food and nutrition, sleep patterns and mindset. On top of that we do networking, video editing and casting.”


Forest Lake State High School students at the Fuse Cup.

Forest Lake State High School is a member of the Australian Computer Society’s Gateway to Industries school program, which helps students create pathways to jobs in the ICT industry.

Some of the many jobs in the Esports world include chefs, trainers, mindset coaches, field development officers, event and tournament organisers, tourism officers, gaming consultants, hardware consultants, network consultants, production crews, casters and commentators, shoutcasters, and more.

“We are very keen on getting students jobs … in the current climate there are so many jobs that are available that we didn’t even know would exist now,” Mr Raatz said.

“It’s definitely a lot more than just playing games. We’re preparing students for the future, because Esports is a billion-dollar industry now.”

Mr Raatz said Esports had also been a great way to increase student engagement and attendance at school, particularly for those who had previously been reluctant to attend.

“It’s so engaging for the kids – the kids love it,” he said.

“The mateship is really good and the way students support each other is fantastic; there’s lots of positive mindset and positive growth.”

One of Corey’s dream jobs is to be a top-level gamer, and he said the school’s Esport program had encouraged him to pursue gaming in the future.

“I personally am not a big fan of school, and when they brought in Esport it was a chance for me to do something I enjoyed through school. The program is now my favourite subject,” he said.

An Esports curriculum was created as a joint project by FLSHS and Marsden State High School to satisfy achievement standards of curriculum across digital technology, food technology, health, physical education and business syllabuses. 

In 2023, the school will implement a full Esports Excellence Program as a year-round elective subject for students from year 7-12.

Forest Lake State High School has also supported other schools in the creation and implementation of Esports as a subject, and hosted an Esports curriculum workshop for 56 teachers across Queensland in December 2021.

Mr Raatz said the school aimed to raise leaders in the Esports industry and was working towards supporting students to compete at state, national and international levels.

Esports will debut as a sponsored event at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this year, and could become an official discipline at the Commonwealth Games in 2026.

“We have big plans for our students to represent Australia at the Olympics in 2032 if it’s offered,” Mr Raatz said.

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Jamie Furness