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The Home of High School Esports League

Students are playing video games now more than ever in Aotearoa. As of 2020, Esports was announced as an official Sport recognised by SportNZ and regulated by The New Zealand Esports Federation. Victory Up are here to help bring Esports to your School, Students, Whanau and the community.

Victory Up strived to change the way Esports engaged at Secondary School level, in 2021 HSESL was launched and is now Aotearoa's largest High School Esports competition. Offering a variety of titles and game modes to cater to students whether as an individual or as part of a team, Victory Up's HSESL has all bases covered.

With the current world climate surrounding COVID-19, the HSESL is a great option to keep students involved and engaged with your School in a social and competitive environment. Esports regardless of lockdowns or traffic light systems can still operate online. All Live Events that are impacted by COVID-19 Restrictions will seamlessly move to a digital environment.

What is Esports?

Put simply Esports is a term used to describe competitive video gaming. It’s different from standard video gaming in that esports is organised competitive gaming, like traditional sports.

For example, League of Legends pits five players against another five in a virtual battle arena to destroy each other’s base each playing their own unique role like a Half-Back or Center. Whereas in First-Person Shooters, Valorant, players are pit against each other in various modes to complete an objective.

Think of esports as competitive video gaming where skill and professionalism is celebrated. The pro gamers who play at this level know the games inside out, much like a professional footballer or athlete would in their respective fields.

What is HSESL?

The HSESL is like any other Secondary School Sport, Students sign up to their school team and compete weekly on a digital 'field'. They practice like traditional sports, have their own coaches, strategies and in some case a team manager.

The HSESL is played competitively throughout Term 2 and Term 3 with a regular season, Regional playoffs and in Term 4 the Grand Finale or National Championship where we crown Aotearoa's very best High School Team from each game title.

How do I join?

If you and your school are new to the world of Esports, you've taken the first steps and come to the right place.

Creating an  Esports club for the School is a great way to get started, putting out a panui or flyer to see if there is interest with your students is an excellent way to gauge their interest. Victory Up offer resources that can help you setup your esports club/team and we can even look into Ministry of Education PLD funding to get you some specialised 1 on 1 workshops. 

Also the New Zealand Esports Federation have a great resource section they have compiled and is a great place to start your journey.

Is there a cost?

In short yes, as with all sports there is a cost and Esports is no different. Fee's cover the cost of Tournament Platform, Venues, Broadcasting, Referees etc. 

For HSESL, cost are based on an Individual or Team across all titles. 

Cost is $35.00+GST per student that joins HSESL. In some cases this cost is reduced based on the number of Students in a team. See each game title for a true reflection of cost.


League of Legends - 5 players minimum - $175+GST - $35.00+GST per Student
League of Legends - 9 players maximum - $175+GST - $19.44+GST per Student

Victory Up will invoice Schools directly and will be the Schools responsibility to collect fee's from their Students.

Key Dates + Further Info

Registrations; Feb 2nd to April 14th
Regular Season Starts; Week of May 9th
Regular Season Finishes; Week of July 1st

Regional playoffs - July 26th to September 25th
Nationals - October 21st to 23rd or October 28th to 30th

For TeamFight Tactics and Legends of Runeterra, these will be run as standalone tournaments. Dates TBC

Tuesdays: Valorant
Wednesdays: League of Legends
Thursdays: Rocket League and NBA 2k

Games will all start at 5pm, 

except for the Wellington Region .
For more information on each game title click on the relating game image below.

Register your School

Entries are open

If you are a School or Teacher who is interested in joining HSESL, head to the Registration link below and get started.

If you are student wanting to get involved, let your School know and register yourself a Victory Up account. Once you have signed up, provide your Username and email to your School to ensure you are added to your School roster.

Game Titles

Resources, Rules and Format

Our Partners & Whanau


Are you looking for Animation , coding or even Game design courses?

Digital Natives Academy who are located in Rotorua have a large variety of courses available for those budding Digital pioneers.

Be sure to check them out!

This unique Māori focused gaming organisation utilises the tools of digital careers and gaming alike to educate their members in Te Ao Maori and Te Reo Maori. Award winning "Best Social Impact" by StartUp Dunedin in their Audacious program delivered at the University of Otago 2021.

Esports Ōtautahi is a collaboration of Esports enthusiast located in Canterbury, Aotearoa. With support from Christchurch City Council, Smart Council, City Libraries and Ministry of Education. Esports Ōtautahi is working hard to create a safe community for Esports in Canterbury

Playtech have been with Victory Up from the start, offering the best PC solutions options for all our participants at Live events.

If you are looking for a new PC, or upgrading your existing then the team at Playtech are there for you.