Esports is taking the world ─ and schools ─ by storm. With a year-over- year growth rate of over 800%, and an audience base that is set to double over the next 6 years, It is clear that the esports industry isn’t going anywhere, and with some universities across the United States offering scholarships, esports has safely cemented its ties in education as well.
Esports is still extremely new in k-12 districts across the United States, with the first documented team popping up in New Jersey in 2016. While esports is only just catching on in k-12 districts, it is quickly making its way across the country. Here are five reasons every school should have an esports team.
1. Emphasis on Social Emotional Leaning
One way that esports fit in with schools is through its unique ability to highlight social emotional learning. Because so much of gameplay is strategy and communication, students are naturally encouraged to use SEL to model and create healthy communication and teamwork.
2. Preparing Students for the Future
As the esports industry continues to grow, so do career opportunities in that field. Whether students want to be a player, a shoutcaster, or even explore careers in development, there is no shortage of new esports jobs popping up every day. Of course, esports specific jobs aren’t the only careers involved with gaming. Students who are interested in computer science, engineering, game design, and other STEAM careers can benefit from joining an esports league.
3. Ties to Physical and Mental Health
Studies have shown that playing video games can improve hand-eye coordination, but esports also opens conversations about other elements of health. Players can also be taught about how a healthy diet and exercise can help them play better and for longer. In addition. Companies like brain Co. and Play Impossible are helping to ensure that students can train to stay focused and improve their coordination without endless screen time and eyestrain. Additionally, esports leagues and teams can help create a community of support. Encouraging players to be open with their teammates can not only help students feel a sense of community, but also makes reaching out for help less intimidating.
4. Increasing Student Engagement
Coach Chris Aviles explains in a recent article “When I first started my esports team, I was surprised to see who came out. Not a single student was playing a sport, nor did they have any home/school connection. They weren’t involved in any clubs either. Mostly, my kids went home after school every day and played video games by themselves. “Starting an esports league gives students who wouldn’t otherwise be involved in extra-curriculars a chance to interact with their peers. Students on the team don’t have to be gamers either. Some teams have roles like social media manager, statistician, event planning, and even coaching. By offering a place to gather around a common interest, esports teams help reach students who otherwise wouldn’t be involved.
5. Focus on Internet Safety
Of course, being on the internet is a huge part of esports culture. While there are some aspects of the internet and gaming culture that can be toxic, those elements of the internet make for valuable lessons, and opportunities to teach students about good internet and cyber security hygiene.
Need help with gathering the right esports gear to get started? Reach out to your DSC account manager today!