As many schools and organizations are just now diving into the world of esports, it can be easy to see it at a very rudimentary level - wasting your time on video games. Especially when you’re a parent, it is hard to immediately see the value of working in the team environment when players aren’t face-to-face. Oftentimes it simply looks as if players are spending too much of their time online gaming, and not enough time focusing on their schoolwork or finding ways to be healthy.
However, when players are allowed to be on a team it opens up the pathway to gaining valuable leadership skills, socializing in a new and diverse environment, and creates opportunities that may not have existed before the advent of online gaming. In this blog, we’ll go over the various reasons your players may be looking into competing on an esports team.
The most natural reason many gamers fall into the world of esports is because it’s easy - when players are hanging out with their friends every night and playing games together competitively, transferring those social skills to a team environment becomes flawless. The Entertainment Software Association breaks down in “2022 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry” that over 80% of those who game are playing with others, whether online or in-person. This statistic overwhelmingly shows that gaming is most often a social activity, and allows for students to continue socializing with their peers outside the classroom.
Esports is without a doubt one of the most inclusive and accessible extracurricular activities students can participate in. Regardless of a player’s situation, accommodations such as colorblind settings, accessible controls, and customizable setups exist for players that would not normally be able to participate in many extracurriculars. Similarly, gaming does not always require a decked-out computer and can be played on shared devices, mobile phones, or even public computers at LAN Centers or local libraries. There are far less barriers to competition in the esports world, and because of this, players of any background can participate in what they love to do the most.
Similar to inclusivity, those players that normally would not be participating in leadership activities can develop those same skills in a team-based environment. Generally, esports teams have anywhere from 2-10 players on their rosters. Out of that set of players, each and every one of them has a role to play for their team to succeed in a game. Whether that role is the team captain, in-game leader, shot-caller, strategist, or many others, each player is cultivating valuable communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills during their time on a team. These are skills that may not be picked up by players in a traditional school environment - and also skills that lead directly into our final point about why a student would choose to be involved in esports: career development.
Lastly, many students choose esports because they see a future career in the esports industry. Now, you may be thinking it is naive to consider a career in esports - surely the options are very competitive and limited exclusively to game developers. This is a common misconception. While esports may have certain career paths that are more widely discussed such as game development, streaming, or professional playing, there are thousands of career opportunities for those looking to jump start their professional life in esports. This essential career development can start at virtually any age considering the accessibility of esports, and encompasses jobs across the board from design to sales to engineering!
While these are all fantastic reasons to start playing a game competitively with a team, we are also dedicated to ensuring players are healthy, safe, and regulated while participating in esports. For more information on creating a balanced esports experience, check out some of our other articles:
Staying healthy while gaming: “How to Stay Healthy While Gaming”
Balancing esports with education: “Esports and Education”
Debunking common esports myths: “Mythbusting Stigmas in Esports”