New Mexico high schools finding success in esports

New Mexico high schools finding success in esports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The state esports championships is quickly becoming one of the NMAA’s biggest events of the year. Gamers from across the state compete in multiple games, including Madden NFL, NBA 2K, Rocket League, League of Legends, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros, Super Mario Kart and Splatoon.

Originally started during the pandemic, esports in New Mexico high schools has continued to grow every year. Now, after the third year of in-person competition, the impact of competitive gaming is becoming positive for high schools across the state.

For kids who aren’t involved with tradition athletics, competing on an esports team teaches them how to work as a team. Not only is it an after school activity, but it gives gamers another outlet to strive to be great.

“Esports has really given me a new want to be able to do well in school and stuff like that,” said first-year Del Norte gamer Jackson Maes. “Even though it doesn’t seem like it, esports really does help you with school and its been helping me now. Before I went into it, I was pretty much failing everything, but now I’m not.”

“Hopefully over these next couple years we can get a couple more gaming platforms and get more kids out here to do all of those educational benefits,” said La Cueva esports coach Nicholas Romero. “Get them to graduate, get them better grades and just get them participating.”

As esports continue to grow and evolve across the state, New Mexico has been recognized on a national level. PlayVS released its first-ever top-25 high school esports teams in America, and three New Mexican schools — Los Alamos, La Cueva and West Las Vegas — rank in the top 10.

“Being a part of La Cueva is like probably one of the best things to ever happen to me,” said La Cueva gamer Kaiden Swanson. “The program is the best as its been over the last three years. Everything is ran so well and I’ve been having the best time.”

“It’s a big shoutout to all of the entities that are helping just grow,” said Romero. “From APS esports, to the NMAA, to all the other school districts that are really supporting this train. It just shows that if you guys buy into something, that you can really do anything and achive high level things in this country or in this world.”

2024 State Championship results

Overall team results


  1. La Cueva

  2. Clovis

  3. Gadsden


  1. Silver

  2. Del Norte

  3. Los Alamos


  1. West Las Vegas

  2. Dexter

  3. Raton


  1. Early College Academy

  2. NM Academy for the Media Arts

  3. Questa


  1. Wagon Mound

  2. Floyd

  3. Springer

League of Legends

5A – Gadsden

A-4A – Albuquerque Academy

Rocket League

5A – La Cueva

4A – Portales

3A – Dexter

A-2A – Early College Academy

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

5A- Manzano

4A – Los Alamos

3A – Sandia Prep

A-2A – New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts

Madden NFL 24

4A-5A – Albuquerque High

A-3A – Raton

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

5A – Clovis

4A – Silver

3A – San Juan College High School

A-2A – Evangel Christian

Splatoon 3

5A – La Cueva

A-4A – Highland

NBA 2K24

4A-5A – Del Norte

A-3A – West Las Vegas


5A – La Cueva

A-4A – East Mountain

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