top of page

AEA's Year in Review

The Amateur Esports Association was officially started May 3rd, 2021. On this day, like-minded esports entrepreneurs came together and started creating the AEA's business plan. This business plan was developed through the end of August of 2021 and implemented in September as the AEA hosted its first competition showcasing Rocket League.

Why Build the AEA?

The AEA was founded by a similar group of students who met through the gaming club at Oklahoma State University. The AEA founding members had experience in multiple esports jobs, organizations, and communities. These founders had become involved in not only the gaming industry, but the esports industry as well. They noticed a lack of fluidity in the esports scene as collegiate programs funnel into pro play, but that there was a gap within youth esports. Traditional sports start at a youth level, continue through college, and finish at professional play. This is where the AEA comes in: our goal is to build an early ecosystem to allow early access into esports at a youth level, so youth have a pathway into higher-level esports competitions or careers.

The AEA believes in a near future where parents/guardians everywhere drop their players off at the local LAN Center for esports practice just as they would for any traditional sport. Esports will be inclusive, foster communication skills, build teamwork, instill leadership principles, and develop many other soft skills that youth can utilize in their everyday life.

Fall Events

Building an esports nonprofit sounded like an amazing idea on paper, but it needed to have an amazing execution to prove the demand for the Amateur Esports Association. We achieved this execution by gauging interest through a series of competitions throughout the fall.

Each month, starting in September, the AEA hosted a competition featuring a different game title, with two competitions happening in December. Youth players competed in:

  • Rocket League

  • Overwatch

  • Valorant

  • League of Legends

The last competition of the year was a 2-day tournament we hosted in association with the California League of Schools, featuring Rocket League. It was an action-packed, live-streamed event to bring our fall events to a roaring end.

Spring Events

Due to the popularity of the fall events hosted by the AEA, we were able to build out a several-month competitive series in the spring called the 2022 Spring Series. The most popular game titles from the fall series were Rocket League and League of Legends, so the focus was on hosting those titles in a longer-term league format. Multiple esports clubs competed in the league for the chance to participate in the AEA National Championship that was to be hosted at the end of the spring series.

The 2022 National Championship was a huge success in which players won $3,250 worth of scholarships. Read more about the 2022 AEA National Championship here.

AEA Accessibility

Being a nonprofit, the AEA wants to serve its community, and part of that service is to focus on accessibility efforts. Though we are a nonprofit, we do ask for fees to participate in our events so that we can cover business costs. All funds not utilized in our operating costs are reinvested into the program.

One way the AEA was able to reinvest funds this year was by reducing or waiving the fees to participate in our league through financial scholarships. Teams that had won our fall competitions were able to play in the 2022 Spring Series on scholarship funding. This program yielded $2,370 worth of scholarships. The combined allocated funds to players this year including the 2022 Spring Series scholarships and the 2022 National Championship scholarships total $5,620.

Another portion of accessibility the AEA has focused on is location. We have partnered with numerous LAN centers, esports organizations, and schools to activate esports clubs across the United States. The more clubs available, the easier it is to find a club near you. More clubs also facilitate a higher level of competition with a more diverse pool of players. Below is a map of the current clubs within the AEA.

AEA Resources

The AEA understands that to promote accessibility, we have to put forth resources to help make esports accessible. Many of the resources we have compiled are available on our website under the “MORE” tab.

The AEA offers career development through internships with the company. The esports industry is a growing and exciting workplace. There are countless jobs related to esports, and the Amateur Esports Association recognizes that many individuals may be interested in seeing if this area of work is right for them. The internship program at the AEA focuses on giving high-school-aged individuals the opportunity to explore this avenue and develop their skills and knowledge of the working world. Our internships are equal parts training to application, and our priority is to give any and all interns the ability to learn more about the esports field of work.

We also have partnered with a freelance coaching company called Gamerabble to provide esports organizations in need with professional coaching resources. Gamerabble has established a coaching verification process that is utilized to qualify coaches as coaches for both the Amateur Esports Association and the North American Scholastic Esports Federation. The AEA has partnered with Gamerabble in order to provide this service at a reduced rate to involved esports organizations.

One last initiative the AEA launched within its first year was blogging. Blogs are a medium we have used to inform our community about gaming and esports as well as other related topics. We want to eliminate confusion about the field, address issues, and inform on current events. We know that not everyone that utilizes the AEA understands gaming and esports, especially parents that have never been involved in gaming. Blogs help us communicate and inform individuals about the esports world to further accessibility in the industry. We launched our first blog “The World of Collegiate Esports and Scholarships” in December of 2021, and have continued to post bi-weekly on Mondays.


62 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page