Op-Ed: As Esports Booms, Opportunity Looms

A+young+ESports+participant+competes+in+Chinas+Summer+League+of+Legends+playoff.

Wikimedia Commons

A young ESports participant competes in China’s Summer League of Legends playoff.

Esports has quickly become a booming industry that has taken over the attention of our youth and millions across the globe.

According to Forbes Magazine, a report in May by gaming data firm Newzoo found that the global Esports audience was on track to reach 532 million this year, including 261 million “Esports enthusiasts” who watch content more than once a month.

As a comparison, according to NBCUniversal, this year’s Super Bowl drew an average of 112 million viewers. This contrast is staggering, and it proves that Esports are growing rapidly.

Initially, Esports started as a frenzied debate over which platform or game is better compared to the other. It has now grown into online streaming, competitions in sold-out stadiums and arenas, college degrees, and virtually anything to make money to chase the technology.

For example, many colleges offer degree programs that are focused on careers in the Esports industry.  The Ohio State University has created an Esports Arena and broadcasting curriculum for students to enjoy and learn at the same time. The University of North Dakota offers a Bachelor of Science program in esports to prepare students for careers and opportunities in the industry.

The Esports business is a potential career path and a way to earn scholarship money for college. This opportunity is beneficial to the School, as a college preparatory school. ”

Currently, students around the country are starting to incorporate and use Esports as a part of their curriculum through STEM-accredited classes, activities, clubs, and after-school sports.

Through the curricula, schools teach the value of teamwork, communication, technology, and strategy using these gaming platforms and networks. They also recognize that the esports business is a potential career path and a way to earn scholarship money for college. This opportunity is beneficial to the School, as a college preparatory school.

Being on the cutting-edge movement of any new technology has advantages. For the School, it is clear that students are interested in video games. Some may view this as something that they do for fun, but if Esports were accessible to them, they could have the ability to use their skills to create a future career path.

Video games are controversial, especially those involving guns and extreme violence. However, companies that build curricula and manage Esports leagues encourage schools to play games like Minecraft, Rocket League, NBA 2K, and Mario Kart.

This approach makes it easier to convince parents of the benefits of esports in a school environment. There is also current research that companies like Generation Esports have done to show that video gaming can improve student GPA and attendance.

Other benefits that Esports bring to a school are sportsmanship, friendship, and school pride. There are currently over 30 schools in the New England area that play Esports in some shape or form at their school. Being involved with this technology exposes kids to computer science, graphic illustration, game theory, game design, and management roles.

It’s interesting to see how parents dismiss the importance of video games in any capacity because of the many negative connections and perceptions.

Video games have always been and will continue to be a significant part of our youth. Knowing this is why Esports is an industry that will continue to grow.