School and sports go hand in hand. From little league to JV and beyond, taking part in sports can be an important moment in a child’s life. Some will go on to pursue sports as a career, while others will walk away from playing having gained friendships and social skills.
Following in that format is the ever-growing world of eSports. Starting off in the bedrooms and basements of gamers, eSports has grown into a billion dollar industry with millions of fans and no signs of slowing down.
Some schools have joined in on eSports, looking to set their students up with a path that was previously ignored by the system. Some states have been testing the waters for a while now – since 2016, 13 high schools in Connecticut have started eSports teams. Other states are just joining in on the action. The Arkansas Activity Association is going big and starting off with over 80 schools taking part.
Like your more traditional sports, students looking to play on eSports teams must meet specific academic standards, ensuring that their school work doesn’t suffer.
And like your old school sports, there is a future for high schoolers who excel at eSports. Over 60 colleges, including Boise State, Georgia State, USC, University of California-Irvine and University of Utah, have their own varsity eSports teams, and many of the schools have started offering scholarships for eSports players.
In a recent interview with Skillshot Media, we think NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young said it best; “Parents, this is something you need to get on board with because the opportunities are immense”
Like with any sport, there is no guarantee that anyone will make it to the big leagues, but like with any sport, there is more to playing than just the game. eSports players gain important social skills as well as a better understanding of design, coding, art, and strategy. Players gain a sense of confidence and a better understanding of the importance of setting goals and working towards them.
These are skills that will help any child later in life, no matter what career path they take.