Here's why and how you should incorporate eSports into your school community
Whether we realize it or not, there’s a new sport in town that’s taking over the web-fields - eSports. While many adults still roll their eyes at videogames, they provide students with invaluable skills for the modern world.
eSports in the video game industry represents a new lucrative niche where online competition reigns supreme, bringing in record numbers of concurrent viewers for their World Championships broadcast online - we’re talking in the millions. And the payout? eSports have generated over $243 million in the U.S. alone during 2021 and it’s steadily on the rise.
It’s no fluke - eSports are here to stay, steadily increasing in popularity during the 2020s, both in participation and in viewership. Colleges and universities now have their own respective eSport teams, giving scholarships and recruiting members across the world. eSport camps are popping up all over the world to give kids the know-how to not just play, but excel at this new sporting event.
The skills needed for success in eSports are the same skills needed for success in our modern world - logic, communication, coordination, multi-tasking, teamwork, problem-solving, strategic & critical thinking, leadership, and sportsmanship. Consider leveraging those in your classroom today by designing tasks that prep them for not just gaming - eSports.
When playing in a team setting, communication skills are key. Often gamers must multi-task to solve a problem on screen while directing and speaking to other team members. They must be able to effectively receive direction from a team leader, understand the ask, and relay their progress and difficulty along the way. Coaching others toward a goal improves team motivation and morale, and overall makes students better sportspeople.
How do you leverage these skills? Give group challenges that teams must follow. Designate no leader of a group and see what happens. Offer tasks where each member must complete a specific component in order to proceed. Assign a leader but keep them secluded while guiding other teammates to success.
Strategic & Critical Thinking
It’s not just decision-making in eSports - it’s micro-decision-making. Made throughout the game, online players weave in and out of game worlds gleaning information on their environment and their opponents. And then they anticipate, react, initiate, and sometimes retaliate - but must first consider the domino-effect results that will happen with each option. Most of the time, they don’t see their opponents, so they must also learn the techniques of their opponents’ gaming style within a short amount of time while also getting into the head of their opponents.
How do you leverage these skills? Complex problem solving requires minute steps in the progression to answer rather than a concrete solution. Give a problem with multiple solutions with multiple consequences and let them reason out the best solution with justification. Have them observe how someone or something behaves to see what they can learn from simply watching. Give one individual task to each student that they must accomplish while simultaneously working on a group problem.
They may love you, or they may hate you - but they’ll respect the effort when you mention eSports training in your classroom. Our modern world thrives on all these skills, so consider incorporating curriculum-based challenges in your classrooms today.
Interested in starting an eSports team at your school? Find out how to start your own team, club or camp with guidance from California League of eSports!