More and more organizations are adding eSports to their offerings right alongside traditional sports. While it can seem like they are simply chasing a trend or keeping up with the times, the benefits are far wider than you might think. eSports have a lot to offer both students or members and the institutions themselves. These are a few of the benefits that institutions that offer eSports are seeing:
Recruiting Top Talent
The reflexes and decision making skills that make a successful gamer also benefit many more mainstream professions. Wall Street now looks at prospective employees gaming results as part of their skill set.
About 60% of younger Millennials and members of Generation Z play games online—among those are people who have strong interest and skill in strategy, teamwork, competition, communication, problem-solving and cognitive skills. Because of the skill sets needed to game effectively, colleges, military recruiters, and employers have begun looking to esports players to find top talent. In fact, many colleges now offer eSports scholarships, with around $20 million in eSPorts scholarships being awarded to incoming students this year.
Creating a Skilled Economy
By engaging kids' interest through games, it is possible to build a passion that will make them creators and innovators in the future. The skills involved in participating in eSports can translate in direct ways to the workforce. While few will play games for a living, the knowledge related to getting online and maintaining a top quality gaming computer can be very helpful once players are out in the workforce.
Generation Esports has partnered with Asus, Intel, and the Army National Guard to install high-end eSports labs in 25 high schools across the US. At least one of these schools will also receive a full internet infrastructure upgrade courtesy of Extreme Networks. These labs get more kids interested in STEM topics, which play a key role in building sustainable economic growth.
Kids at the schools where the labs are located will be given training on how to build and maintain the eSports labs. They'll also have access to people currently working in STEM careers who can provide career advice and guidance to the best college programs.
Building Teamwork Skills
Most eSports participants and competitors will never go pro. But, that is no different from those who play baseball or football in school or in a casual league. They will play during their years at school or in their freetime, but it doesn’t become their career.
But, they gain valuable experience and skills outside the direct skills involved in playing the game. They learn how to communicate in a high-speed, cooperative environment. They learn leadership and cooperation. These skills can be as valuable as anything they learn in the classroom and can serve them well in their later careers.
Building Better Minds
eSports has the advantage of teaching participants how to make vital decisions fast, just like traditional sports do. But, traditional sports, even at the high school level, can be restricted to those at the higher end of physical size and capabilities. In the eSports arena, almost anyone can play. eSports participants come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, genders, and backgrounds. What they all have in common is a mental agility that serves them well in the virtual arena and even better in their life after competitive play.
eSports players all start at the same level. There are no competitive advantages to gender, higher muscle mass or height. While there are external factors like equipment quality, time available for practice, and internet speed, the easier entrance means that there is a wider field of competitors than for traditional sports. This means that a wider net is cast and more talent can be captured.
Once they are in game, eSports competitors get a lot of advantages from their participation. Studies show that eSports are linked to higher GPAs and increased attendance rates at school. Students with these advantages graduate with better career prospects, as well.
As institutions realize how well eSports fills their needs, more and more are offering these programs. eSports makes a space for community participation, increasing school spirit in the way that traditional sports do, as well. With the wider field of potential participants, that means that more people see themselves in those on the field, as well. eSports allows organizations like schools and vocational training to bring in more qualified talent and send students out into the world with more to offer.