Less than 20 years ago, the pop culture idea of a gamer was largely accepted to be a somewhat misguided teen who would prefer to hyper fixate on a screen rather than participating in school, a job, or any social interaction. Those who bought into this gross misconception may be scratching their heads at the current rise of Esports, but for those who have been paying attention to the industry it comes as no surprise. Esports are expected to bring in more than $1 billion in global revenue this year, from both participants and onlookers. What was once considered an after-school hobby is now one of the biggest growing industries that is benefitting students and schools across the nation.
Despite the misconception about the loner gamer, Esports require community and teamwork, much like traditional contact sports. The presence of strategy, discipline, and effective communication are present just like any other sport as well. However, unlike traditional sports, anyone of any ability can be successful in Esports. Being differently abled does not disqualify anyone from participating and succeeding. With a greater reach, students who might’ve been overlooked in traditional sports, are given a chance to shine in Esports. With the even playing field that Esports provides, teachers and educators have a huge opportunity to engage all their students to create a community that is not possible in traditional sports. The benefits of Esports don’t stop there, though. Other benefits include:
- Participation: More than 80% of esports teams are made up of students who had never participated in extra-curricular activities prior to esports, giving the untraditional student-athlete the opportunity to experience leadership, sportsmanship, teamwork, social skills, and pride through athletic competition.
- Attendance: Attendance significantly improves
- Academic Performance: Helping to increase their GPA by an average of 1.7 points.
- Teamwork: Learning to communicate and working more effectively with others.
- Sense of Community: Inclusiveness and accessibility
- Real-World Experience: Analyzing data, game statistics, and strategies
- Continued Education: Many K12 institutions are starting to see the potential of adding Esports to the curriculum as it’s becoming an important aspect of supporting student recruitment into higher education. Currently, there are more than 200 colleges and universities offering nearly $15 million in scholarships to high school students.
In 2018, Ashland University became the first school in the country to offer scholarships for Esports. Many other schools soon after followed suit, creating their own gaming arenas in the process such as Full Sail University’s new eSports arena named “The Fortress”. The Extreme eCampus News Worldwide Esports Survey found that 21% of schools already have an esports program and that over 70% of K12 schools are now considering introducing competitive gaming to their curriculum in some shape or form. Schools aren’t the only ones seeing the opportunity in Esports. Professional Esport gaming arenas can be found all over the world, including HOK in Kansas City or Fusion Arena in Philadelphia, which will be the first space built specifically for Esports fitted with 3,500 seats. This exponentially growing industry proves that gaming is one of the most lucrative ways for teens to invest in their futures and personal growth.
In Esports, a team’s potential success is dependent on their gaming arena. A gaming arena is responsible for turning a sterile space into an immersive experience for everyone to enjoy. A successful gaming arena ensures players have all the tools they need to win and provides onlookers with the opportunity to actively engage. CCS understands the components that make an arena successful and work to create a gaming arena that combines high performance equipment with an adherence to professional gaming standards that will instill confidence at all levels of competition. We take into account your team’s goals and desired gaming experience to design the perfect arena tailored to your team.
If you’re interested in the benefits of Esports and would like to see a successful gaming arena in action, Audio Video specialists at CCS Presentation Systems have designed a fully functioning Esports Demonstration Center at our Scottsdale, AZ corporate headquarters. It provides customers with a working demonstration of every component of an esports facility – game play, audience presentation, streaming and more. Contact us if you would like to learn more about the Esports solutions we can offer to set your team up for success.
Written by Sam Butler