AN ALL-GIRLS team are battling it out in cyberspace as esports grows in popularity at a North-East school.

Girls at Carmel College, Darlington, have been honing their skills at lunchtime and after school, reaching the semi-finals at their first attempt in this year’s Overwatch season.

They hope to follow in the footsteps of a boys’ team, which last year won the British Esports Association Championship National Rocket League, qualifying to play at Insomnia, a gaming exhibition due to be staged at Birmingham NEC at Easter.

Carmel College launched the Fortes Esports club to harness positive aspects of gaming, including IT skills, teamwork, leadership and social skills.

Carmel College maths teacher Mary Atherton said: “We are passionate about encouraging students to play in a sociable setting. We encourage them to respect their teammates and the opposition.

"At the moment, few schools are involved in the championship, but it is starting to grow as the benefits become apparent of preparing students for the future they will live in. For Carmel College it is great to be involved at the beginning of something which I am sure will grow.”