SPIRE is Raising the Bar for High School Esports Programs


Head Apex Legends Coach Patrick Kwon shares his experience coaching at SPIRE’s Esports Academy

SPIRE has one of the only full-time high school esports academies in the country. This unique boarding school program provides students the rare opportunity to train with the goal of becoming professional esports athletes while educating themselves in the areas they’re pursuing.

Head Coach of the Apex Legends team at SPIRE Academy, Patrick Kwon, describes the program as quickly becoming the ultimate location for young competitors to receive a traditional education combined with phenomenal esports coaching and training.

SPIRE’s esports program is about much more than playing video games. These students are athletes who start every day at the gym training—just the way traditional athletes would. A typical day sees them following their gym time with breakfast, then having a traditional school day. After completing classes for the day, they have esports coaching and training in a facility specifically designed for that purpose. It enables them to focus on training and improvement.

SPIRE players are gifted and extremely dedicated. Some will diligently train in the esports facility until 11pm. Once they have completed training, they head back to their dorms to sleep so they are refreshed and ready to train again the next day. Consistency and dedication are key attributes demonstrated within all of SPIRE’s athletic programs.

Head Coach Kwon’s own background is rooted in a love of the game, and he describes how he started playing competitive first-person shooter (FPS) games when he was a young player. Early on, he was noted as being a prodigy, playing in a community Counter-Strike league and eventually dropping into Apex Legends. He eventually reached its peak ranking (aptly titled Apex Predator rank), at which point he was able to meet other players and become more involved in the competitive aspects of gaming. Long after signing a contract to become a professional player, the team eventually disbanded, which led Kwon to become an esports coach.

Kwon further explained SPIRE’s goal is to always ensure that their students can pursue gaming as a potential career option, as opposed to it just being a club or an extracurricular activity. SPIRE allows these student-athletes to get an education while also learning all about the esports industry. This provides the opportunity to become a professional player or pursue a career working elsewhere within the esports industry. As Kwon puts it, “In the future, we would love to have more options for anyone who’s trying to get into the broadcasting side or anything in production, marketing, team management, or anything of that nature.”

SPIRE is connecting the dots between traditional sports and esports, so young gamers aspiring to compete can do so. In the not-so-distant past, becoming a pro gamer meant putting in a lot of hours, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best. Today, there are more clear-cut routes to the professional competitive scene. Kwon hopes that SPIRE’s esports program will create ripples across the country so that future esports programs will receive the same level of commitment, recognition and development.

SPIRE student athletes fully commit to developing their sport as dedicated athletes, limiting the effects of outside forces. Kwon explained that esports and competing is essentially a full-time job.

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SPIRE Contact info:

Phone: (440) 466-1002

Email: [email protected]

Address: 5201 SPIRE Circle, Geneva, OH 44041