Benefits of Esports in College
It’s been almost 5 years since the insane growth of competitive esports started, and it hasn’t slowed down. Esports is projected to have over 29 million viewers tuning in every month to watch professional gamers go head-to-head in a wide variety of competitive video games. The extreme popularity of esports continues to draw in a ton of investors.
But that’s not the only attention the industry has garnered. Well over two hundred colleges have created varsity esports teams hoping to join the movement and support students' intercollegiate esports experience. Despite this many parents remain unsure of the benefits of collegiate esports for their students and the stability of these academic programs.
The Benefits of Esports for Students
Some of the benefits of participating in esports are similar to participating in traditional sports. Students have to work together, challenge each other, learn how to lead, and get the chance to engage in peer-to-peer relationships at school.
The same academic excellence that traditional sports require, esports do as well. All of this draws a student into the academic structure of school and helps support them throughout their time at college where it's easy for a student to lose their way.
1 – Scholarships
Oh yes, gaming can send your student to college now. As of 2022, over 180 colleges belong to NACE (Nation association of collegiate esports). These colleges all have varsity esports programs and offer scholarships that range from partial to full-ride.
While there are fewer of them compared to scholarships for traditional sports, esports scholarships are less competitive to acquire as most of these programs are new and created to draw in a lot of students.
More and more colleges are creating esports teams every year as the industry continues to grow, so the number of scholarships will only go up.
2 – Little risk of injury
Unlike most traditional sports, esports involve little physical activity. The students won’t get a natural workout by playing esports, but this means that there is virtually no chance that they will sustain any injuries.
Esports is a great way for students with illnesses that affect their physical health to still participate in sports. The professional League of Legends player, Toucouille, is a great example. He has osteoporosis and yet is one of the top esports players in North America.
3 – STEM and Industry Jobs
Competitive esports involves several mental practices that improve a student’s STEM concepts. Getting better at games involves constant evaluation of math, continual analysis of the technology you are interacting with, and careful construction of the best strategies for winning.
Beyond improving STEM concepts, their many aspects of participating in esports that increase a student's chance to get a job. There are plenty of jobs in the gaming industry besides being a professional gamer. Designers, casters, coaches, artists, animators, writers, and the list just goes on. Playing on a collegiate esports team provides a student with tech knowledge and gaming experience that jobs in the gaming industry value highly when looking at applicants. Not to mention that
The Benefits of Esports for Colleges
Students aren’t the only ones who benefit from esports. There are several benefits that colleges get from having an esports team, which means several reasons for a solid investment in the industry and the students participating.
1 – To Draw in Students
Most colleges are actively looking for more ways to draw more students to their schools. Some of the colleges that were the fastest to jump on the esports train have seen extreme growth in the number of students applying to their schools.
Most colleges are still looking to tap into that success when they create their teams. Having a respected team that performs well will only draw in more students to the campus.
2 – It’s Cheaper than Traditional Sports
One reason colleges can so easily invest in their esports teams is because of the low cost. They don’t need to tear down any buildings for a field or stadium. They don’t need a state-of-the-art facility. And due to the lack of injury risk, there isn’t a need to have as much medical staff or high-end physical trainers for the students.
No, all they need are a good solid coaching team, good wifi, a room with some space, and some good computers. Colleges can simply spruce up one of their lesser used rooms with a few good chairs and nice computers, and they’ve got an esports training facility.
Now, gaming computers can get a little expensive, but even for that, there is a fix. And that fix is the last benefit on our list.
3 – Esports has a lot of Investors
One of the main things that made colleges start to participate in esports was the clear popularity of the industry. Investors saw the same and have since been pouring into esports.
Even big names like Amazon, NASCAR, Mastercard, and Coke have invested in the scene. With all this investor attention, having an esports team enables colleges to attract potential investors.
Esports viewership, popularity, and economy are only going up. More and more colleges are creating esports teams every year, and they are looking for students with gaming and teamwork experience. Just like in traditional sports, high school and junior high teams are the gateway to securing scholarships. If you are an educator and are interested in bringing esports to your school, our leagues page will tell you all you need to know about signing up for Vanta.