Empowering Young Gamers for Success in a Billion-Dollar Industry
The esports industry is a burgeoning force that generates roughly $960 million worldwide, with projections to hit $1.6 billion soon. Yet, many parents remain unaware of the vast scope this industry offers.
If your kids are enthusiastic gamers, they might be missing out on opportunities to cultivate essential skills, prepare for future careers, and even earn coveted college scholarships. Read further to dive deeper into the future of eSports and unleash your child’s success.
What is esports?
“Esports” is short for electronic sports, which is how competitive video gaming is categorized. In other words, those who play esports are playing video games in a competitive setting, just like sports teams play in local and national competitions. However, it’s important to note that not every video game has a place in esports. There are many esports leagues that determine the specific game(s) that will be played.
It’s an industry that has seen a lot of growth over the last several years. In 2019, statistics show there were just under 400 million enthusiasts of esports. That number is expected to balloon into the billions as esports players were still able to compete during the pandemic. Moreover, the fact that 71% of kids under the age of 18 play video games shows there is a lot of room for growth with esports in the very near future.
What do kids gain from esports?
While it may seem doubtful that students can gain skills from playing video games, there are several benefits you may not know:
Making friends and staying connected can be a challenge for students in our digital world. Video games can serve as a way to build a community and develop relationships. When esports are supported by schools, it allows students another opportunity to get involved. Creating esports teams that can compete against each other or even other schools or teams cultivates a team spirit atmosphere. Students will learn to work together in the same way that basketball or football teams do. They will practice together, strategize together, support each other, and celebrate victories together.
Effective communication is a critical skill to have and through esports, students are given an opportunity to develop their communication capabilities. Players need to learn to communicate well with their teammates so they can advance as a team. In the world of esports, the more adept players are at efficiently communicating key information to each other, the more likely they are to win.
Just like in other sports, players need to develop a strategy to win in esports. Students will also need to learn to adapt their approach and change their strategy as they go through the game. Moreover, the speed at which esports players need to adapt to changing information can also help develop their critical thinking skills.
Students will need to think on their feet and problem-solve quickly to make their way through esports competitions, which helps them practice their ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently. Players can also learn to handle failure appropriately, which is a critical life skill.
Participating in an activity that helps them develop skills and one that they are good at, can boost a child’s self-esteem. This can be a great opportunity for kids who are less inclined to participate in traditional sports. They can find connections with other students that have similar interests. All of these facets can help a child develop a strong sense of self-confidence in who they are and what they can achieve.
There are advantages to esports over and above the skills students can learn. One is the prize pool. Esports is a competitive activity and winners stand to earn a reputation, swag, and often a good amount of prize money for their performance.
Colleges have also started recognizing esports, and some offer scholarships to high-performance players. Having esports teams at schools can open up more opportunities for students to develop their skills, and earn their place on a college team.
Are there career opportunities in esports?
As the video gaming industry continues to grow, it opens up new career paths to the next generation of players. These can include jobs as professional gamers, event management, game creation and development, and jobs in stream or esports marketing. The future of esports holds tremendous potential for students to explore and pursue diverse avenues within this rapidly expanding sector.
By incorporating esports in learning, students not only get to enjoy their passion for gaming but also gain exposure to the inner workings of the esports industry. They can learn about the various aspects of organizing and managing esports events, understand the intricacies of game development, and delve into the world of marketing and branding within this competitive realm.
Moreover, being involved in esports at an educational level allows students to develop crucial digital skills, which extend far beyond the boundaries of the gaming world. The future of esports could very well serve as a stepping stone for these students to embark on careers as software developers, engineers, and professionals in other technology-driven fields.
Beyond just playing video games, esports as a subject can play a significant role in shaping the aspirations of students. Through skill development and knowledge-building, it can help focus some students on future career paths they may not have considered otherwise. As technology continues to evolve, the demand for digital proficiency grows, and the skills honed through esports can be invaluable for success in the jobs of the future.
How to properly introduce esports into your child’s life
Incorporating esports into your child’s life can create a positive and enriching experience. It offers opportunities for social connection and skill development. While introducing esports, consider these thoughtful steps to ensure a well-balanced approach
Familiarize yourself with esports, its various games, and the positive aspects it offers. Understand the potential benefits and risks involved to make informed decisions.
Have an open and honest conversation with your child about their interest in esports. Discuss their passion, goals, and how they plan to balance gaming with other activities.
Set Limits and Boundaries
Establish clear guidelines for gaming time, ensuring it doesn’t interfere with school, physical activities, or family time. Encourage responsible gaming habits.
Choose Age-Appropriate Games
Select games suitable for your child’s age and maturity level. Look for titles that promote teamwork, problem-solving, and sportsmanship.
Emphasize Health and Well-being
Encourage regular breaks during gaming sessions. Promote physical activities, proper nutrition, and sufficient sleep for a balanced lifestyle.
Support Social Interactions
Help your child build positive social connections through esports. Encourage them to join local gaming communities or participate in friendly competitions.
Encourage Skill Development
Esports can offer valuable skills like strategic thinking, quick decision-making, and teamwork. Support your child’s growth by acknowledging their achievements and helping them learn from setbacks.
Remember, the key is to strike a balance between esports and other activities to ensure your child’s holistic development and well-being.
The Future of esports and EFK
At EFK, we are passionate about letting kids discover the world of STEM. Esports is just one of the programs that help children develop important skills in a fun way. We have created after-school programs and camps ideal for students to engage with esports. All of our programs are designed to integrate into a school setting, whether it’s in a classroom or an extracurricular after-school activity.
Contact EFK to find out more about how we can help bring esports to your students.