Gaming increased during the pandemic as people sought home entertainment options that could keep them socially connected. This increase in game time included clocked hours from both veteran and new gamers on all devices, including mobile, gaming consoles, and tablets. And with the pause in traditional sports, there was a jump in video game livestreaming on popular platforms, including Twitch. Esports is considered by many to be the hottest gaming trend of 2021 with a 69% increase in participation over 2020 resulting from pandemic-fueled growth.
Esports Growing in Popularity
The audience for Esports are continually growing. Insider Intelligence expects Esports viewers to grow by a total of 52.5% between now and 2023, reaching 46.2 million at that time. According to another report by Insider Intelligence, in 2019 almost one in four people had viewed an Esports tournament recently.
Many schools are jumping in on the opportunity to be a part of the Esports trend. During the 2018-2019 school year, $16 million in college scholarships was offered to gamers in high school. These colleges were looking to recruit for and expand Esports programs. By including Esports in K-12 school extracurriculars, educators could be opening doors for students to receive scholarships.
The High School Esports League currently has over 3,000 participating schools with 140,000 students. Mason Mullenioux, CEO of HSEL, says one Kansas district improved student engagement and set a record for attendance after integrating esports into its curriculum.
Esports Bringing Exposure to Schools
As Esports continue to grow popular in culture, schools should consider how adding it to extracurriculars can bring positive exposure. In our modern world, students have a wide range of interests and tastes. Many students feel excluded from school culture because of disinterest in sports or other extracurriculars. By being an Esports pioneer in your community, your school opens the door for those students. Both students and parents are an organic marketing tool through their discussions of your program in the community. Media outlets may even want to learn more about your team of students bringing more exposure to your institution.
Tapping into a Growing Trend
Gaming is already bleeding into other industries, as companies like Netflix, Zoom, and Peloton are starting to get in on the action surrounding gaming and Esports.
Here’s their strategy:
- Netflix: Focusing on developing new video games
- Zoom: Boosting co-worker comradery and corporate culture online with games available through their Zoom App Marketplace
- Peloton: Launching an in-app video game as an alternative to instructor led-classes
Not sure where to get started? Here are a few brands that make Esports gear:
Logitech – Logitech has high-quality, innovative gaming supplies to outfit your Esports extracurriculars. Browse wireless charging systems, gamepads, headsets, mouse pads, and keyboards.
Dell – Dell offers high-end, yet affordable gaming laptops with premium onsite warranty and accidental damage coverage, making it the perfect addition to your school.
Arozzi – Your students will enjoy ultimate comfort and ease with Arozzi’s sleek gaming chairs. Arozzi also sells other gaming necessities such as mouse pads, floor mats, and green screens.
Turtle Beach – Turtle Beach gaming headsets are built for performance, bringing powerful sound and high-sensitivity flip-to-mute mics. Their headsets are lightweight, comfortable, but powerful.
JBL – JBL’s gaming headsets are equipped with Quantum Surround Sound Signature and are compatible with all platforms.