Click here for esports, or Electronic sports, is a global phenomenon with billions of dollars in revenue generated. It is one of the fastest growing sectors of the entertainment industry and a lucrative path for students.
Longstanding esports titles such as League of Legends and Dota 2 have large player bases and sponsored tournaments that can attract huge viewing crowds. However, newer games may not have established competitive scenes and can be harder to break into.
What is esports?
Esports is competitive video gaming, similar to professional sports. The top players are paid a lot of money to play their favorite games and often become world champions.
The esports industry has grown dramatically in recent years and is now a billion dollar business. It’s also growing with a wide range of demographics, including younger viewers and gamers.
Students who take part in esports have been shown to be more likely to pursue careers in STEM-related fields. This is a great benefit for both high school and college esports programs.
As the gamer community grows, schools are finding that esports can be a great way to reach students who are struggling with academics or social engagement. This can improve student retention and graduation rates, and reduce the number of students who drop out of school.
Benefits of esports for students
Getting involved in extracurricular activities, including esports, helps students stay on track with their academics. This can boost their attendance, grades, test scores and graduation rates.
Esports can also increase their interest in STEM-related fields. For example, if they are interested in computer science or video game development, a school-sponsored esports team could spark their interest and motivate them to continue in their studies.
In addition, esports teams can also help students socialize and build community in their school. This is an important benefit since gaming can be an isolating hobby that leaves students alone for long periods of time.
Esports programs and leagues can teach kids practical, future-ready skills such as strategic thinking, leadership, communication, teamwork, performance and confidence building. They can also help students develop empathy, which is a vital skill for success in the workplace.
How to start an esports program at school
Whether you’re starting an esports club at school or looking to start a full-fledged team, there are several key steps you’ll need to take. These include establishing gaming guidelines, recruiting gamers, and determining the scope of your esports program.
Getting your school on board with esports isn’t easy, but once you have it going, it can have an enormous impact on students and your community. That’s because esports builds crucial skills, like critical thinking, data-driven decision making, puzzle solving, strategic planning, math and physics, hypothesis testing, creativity and curiosity, to name just a few.
It also fosters collaboration and inclusion, bringing a sense of community to many kids who have been isolated by video games at home or on their own video game teams. This is a great way to meet students where they are and help them build skills for life, even after they leave your school! With a unique academic approach, esports can help students find their passion and get great at gaming, sparking interest in computer science and coding.
Resources for schools
School esports programs can be a great way to engage students and foster a sense of belonging. They can also help students develop leadership and soft skills like communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and digital citizenship that are applicable in and out of the classroom.
When starting an esports program at a school, it is important to consider how to implement a curriculum. This includes choosing games, finding the right equipment, and creating a safe space for players.
One of the biggest factors that will determine whether or not your esports program is successful is student interest. Educators have reported that students are often excited about the opportunity to participate in an extracurricular activity that they would not usually be involved in.
Students who participate in esports often report that they have gained confidence, forged friendships, and developed valuable soft skills. They also say that esports has helped them become more engaged in their academics and social life at school.