Move over high school football and basketball! Competitive-level video gaming – esports – has recruiters from over 250 colleges throwing offers of ‘full-ride scholarships’ at the very best high school players. The appeal of esports is huge - it has become a $4 billion industry, with national winners earning prestige and big prizes for themselves, their sponsors, and their schools.
Before introducing its own esports program, a Texan school district surveyed its students on the games they’d like to compete in, settling on League of Legends and Rocket League. It then organized interest meetings, garnering unexpected interest from students. The district now has 75 esports athletes.
Although schools are facing new kinds of challenges never foreseen before introducing esports programs (including calls from college recruiters who want to know more about the players and parents asking how they can get their kids on the teams), the overwhelming response has made all these small hassles well worth the effort.
Games like these are here to stay and there are plenty of reasons why schools should start looking into establishing their own esports teams. Download “Turning to Student Voice and Choice for High School Esports” to find out how exactly they can benefit from esports programs that, among other things, inspire academic excellence and build career focus through:
- Enthusiastic participation by students who would otherwise shun organized school activities
- Promoting and reporting games, results, and marketing ‘e-athletes’
- Computer training and developing IT skills that can enhance learning.