Esports Program for High School Students
GAMING, TECHNOLOGY

An Overview of the Esports Program for High School Students

Esports (electronic sports) are taking the world by storm. These entail video games with organized competitive gameplay between teams with a set of governing guidelines and rules.

Some people, more so from the older generation, assume that esports (electronic sports) are useless sports that unemployed twenty-somethings enjoy in their basements. Nonetheless, with most things changing in the face of the covid pandemic and in-person interactions dwindling, esports has quickly grown into a billion-dollar industry.

There are now massive online esports tournaments worldwide with lucrative sponsorships where players make decent money. Esports have also permeated colleges and high schools which gives students a chance to compete in interscholastic sports.

Varsity esports started in 2014 at Robert Morris University. It has since slowly grown to include over 180 schools and a governing body called the National Association of Collegiate Esports. The careers and college scholarships linked to esports have also grown quickly.

With the many opportunities available for high school students engaged in esports, you should have a team at your school. Here are a few benefits of esports and a guideline on starting an esport team at your school.

Benefits of Esports

Educators and parents know that engaging in extracurricular activities significantly boosts a student’s success. Below are the specific benefits of esports for students:

1. It gives an extracurricular option for students disinterested in traditional games

Currently, teens love gaming. A Pew Research Center study concluded that 83% of girls and 97% of boys engaged in video games. Though some of these teens were engaged in other school sporting activities, most were not as they were disinterested in traditional sports. Esports offer your school a way of engaging kids who love online games in extracurricular activities.

2. It safeguards a teen’s mental health

Online gaming sounds like an isolating hobby. However, when students are part of an esports team, video gaming becomes a social experience. The team makes players feel accepted and respected while building a school community. The strong connections fostered in an esports team boost a teen’s mental health and his/her social networks.

3. It equips students with valuable life skills

Team sports teach kids some valuable life skills that are hard to teach in the classroom. In an esports team, a player will gain social skills, learn how to work with others, and hone his/her time management skills and know-how to manage success or failure. Esports also sharpen a player’s planning and thinking skills because he/she has to assess other players’ weaknesses or strengths before making a move.

4. It fosters STEM learning

Esports and STEM {science, technology, engineering, and mathematics} go hand in hand. Learners captivated by esports are often drawn to the technology ecosystem. Having an esports team is a good starting point if you want to encourage students to pursue STEM careers. For instance, in 2018, about 62% of the top talent in League of Legends, an esports game, were STEM majors, according to the collegiate esports director of Riot Games.

5. It expands career and college opportunities

Esports gives students extra options for careers and colleges. Those involved in esports can be players, coaches, medical staff, recruiters, marketing staff, finance professionals, and managers in esporting. Esport teams also offer an avenue for postsecondary scholarships to several universities and colleges.

How to Start an Esports Team?

With all the benefits that an esports team offers, it is imperative to set up one for your school as soon as possible. Though esports has not yet been sanctioned in most school districts as official sports, this might change soon as organizations now lobby them to elevate esports to the levels of basketball and other traditional sports.

Below is a guide for starting an esport team in your school:

Find an esports coach to lead the team.

Do not simply pick anyone with experience in managing school clubs or interest in gaming. This will not guarantee your players as many benefits as having an experienced coach well-versed in esports to guide the team. When searching online for an esports coach, it is prudent to settle for a platform that can also offer the technology you need for your team and support your team using cutting-edge STEAM methodologies.

Spread the word.

Once you have a coach, it is time to whip interest in esports with posters, morning announcements, and flyers. Get the student body, other teachers, and students interested in video games to spread the word. You can also use popular social media sites to get students interested in the team.

Plan out details.

With a team in place, you should now plan details like the accessories, number of gaming stations, and networking technologies you need for your game. Your technology checklist includes a network, on-premise security solutions, gaming computers, gaming chairs, headsets for team discussions, and broadcast-quality cameras.

Host meetings.

Once you have everything in place, ensure you plan for regular meetings and coaching sessions. Consider an online communication platform as well to keep in touch with team members and allow coaching when in-person meetings are not possible.

When your students thrive, this places you among the best schools in your district to attract more students. An esports team might be the answer to standing out in your locality.

Thanks to the above information, you now know why your students need the team and how to start one. With the right coach for the team, you will soon be winning esports tournaments and attracting top sponsors. Concorde Education Is the best bet for establishing an avenue to college or the development of future skills for your students. It offers three after-school’s programs including Concorde Tutoring, Concorde Games, and Concorde Education.

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