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Don't stand in the way of my friends chance of a lifetime.

This petition had 2,015 supporters

My friend Ian Taylor is an award-winning pro-gamer. If you don’t know what that is, it is also called eSports, or competitive video gaming. Pro-gaming is a $621 million a year industry, and is watched by nearly 72 million people worldwide. Ian is only a junior in high school, and his team has already won a $75,000 North American tournament.

Pro-gamers are “internationally recognized athletes,” and for good reason -- it is a sport not unlike chess, which requires highly advanced strategy. One might argue that it takes more brainpower than a lot of high school sports, but because Ian’s team is not school-sanctioned, any classes he misses due to travel for these championships count as unexcused absences. If Ian goes to the World of Tanks Grand Finals in Warsaw, Poland, the biggest eSports event of the year, he may be forced to pay for summer school, or, worse yet, repeat his entire junior year.

Please help me help my talented friend, and ask the Superintendent of the Lower Cape May School District, Christopher Kobik, to support Ian’s athletic endeavors and excuse his absences while he attends the World of Tanks Grand Finals.

Ian has missed a total of 12 days of school (the maximum for the state of New Jersey), and a third of those were spent winning the WGLNA Finals in Las Vegas. He has never failed a class or been given any major disciplinary infractions. Ian wishes to use this event as an introduction for his future career in gaming and the gaming industry in general, and he has offered to write essays or reports on it for his classes. It could give his classmates a great perspective on international relationships, teamwork, and athletic commitment.  

The life of a pro-gamer requires uncommon discipline and perseverance, because the obstacles to success are as numerous outside the game as they are fearsome inside it. Parents won't respect what you do, fans won't understand when you fail, and entities like the Lower Cape May School District will neglect to recognize your achievements, even when you make it all the way to the top.

Please join me in asking Superintendent Kobik to recognize the skill Ian is demonstrating as one of his award-winning eSports team’s best players. Please ask him to be lenient and excuse Ian’s absences while he is attending the Grand Finals in Warsaw.

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John Knecht needs your help with “Christopher Kobik: Don't stand in the way of my friends chance of a lifetime.”. Join John and 2,014 supporters today.