Video games are a way for students to get familiar with technology and often lead to a path of passion for STEM activities.
Currently, there are more than 8500 high schools in the United States alone that have esports teams in a wide variety of games. Successes in the field often lead to career paths and scholarships to elite universities and colleges but this isn’t the only thing motivating these children to play.
At a middle school level, the focus is showing kids the potential of video games not only for their career, but for themselves as socio-emotionally rounded individuals.
Middle School Esports Program Should Grow Just Like High School Ones
Middle schools need to develop youth esports leagues to educate children on how to stray from environments that might be harmful to them and how to deal with them if needed. Since in school leagues every player knows each other and is roughly the same age, children behave like they would in the real world.
If a child develops habits of how to interact with others in online games without being supervised by professional coaches, they might take on a not-so-productive path. Dealing with bullies and trolls in the virtual space could harm them emotionally and demotivate them from playing in the future.
Communication Is The Most Important Thing In Video Games
To feel good and win matches, a player must be in good communication with his or her team and not tilt when bad plays happen in-game. Everyone makes mistakes and supporting each other as a team is something that is not easily taught about or learned.
Learning to communicate first would also greatly increase the speed at which an individual grows in the game in terms of skills exponentially. Becoming a friend with both allies and opponents makes a child learn much quicker because everyone would be keen on showing them cool tips and tricks, they would otherwise save for themselves.
Many teens already in high school have realized this with the tons of experience they have in video games. However, youngsters primarily in middle school have not yet played enough matches to know that communication is one of the most important aspects of gaming.
A middle school student might be mechanically and strategically good at the game but a team of high-schoolers would often win simply because they communicate better with each other and this is normal.
How To Start an Esports League at Your School?
As mentioned above there are a lot of colleges and thousands of high schools in the United States that have esports programs and offer esports coaching and leagues. Reaching out as an ambassador for your school either as a parent or teacher, after discussing it with the school’s committee
Reaching out to gaming leagues like Vanta is another way to go. We have thorough experience in setting up everything a school league needs including the proper equipment, space, extracurricular schedule, video games, and professional coaches, as well as training for enthusiasts who want to become one.
Government and Private Organizations Are Realizing The Potential of Esports
In the future, it is much expected to see leagues spread across elementary and middle schools as well, aside from high schools. Much like extracurricular activities like clubs, chess, or sports, esports unite people both as a public and players.
Large events and tournaments can be hosted. Not to mention, some of the children who show great promise and talent can become professional players. Believe it or not, in 2021, the International 2021, the largest DotA 2 championship was hosted in Romania, Bucharest, and held a prize pool of over $40 million US dollars.
In five years, the prize pool of this annual tournament has doubled from 20 million to 40 million dollars. Some of the winners over the years have been 15 or 16-year-old teenagers like Sumail, “SumaiL” Hassan who became a multimillionaire at 15 even before winning the aforementioned grand prize, which he later did during the year 2015.
As of 2021, there were ,175 colleges that offer esports scholarships in the United States alone. These include scholarships that can be won by having a high competitive rank in games like Overwatch, League of Legends, CS: GO, Rocket League, Super Smash Brothers, Hearthstone, and many others. Luckily at Vanta Leagues, we have esports coaches covering the majority of the games which can score your child a prestigious college spot.
Video Games Are Also About Sportsmanship
Sometimes you are way ahead of your opponents, and you are crushing them in the game, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to treat people badly because on the other side of the computer screen are real humans and not just opponents.
Sportsmanship has been a great part of the esports competitive community and in some games like Starcraft II, it was even forbidden to use chat during games for a while to keep the game environment clean.
Teaching ethics, morality, and empathy to children from a young age is important in order for them to develop the needed character to function properly in society. Video games can give a false feeling of superiority over everyone, in case a child is a prodigy and ranks higher competitively in a game. But that doesn’t mean they should treat others without respect.
The true masters of video games are humble and loved personalities who love giving back to the community for all they have learned and are thankful for the support and praise they receive.
In the past decade, video games have become a multi-billion industry. In education, high schools and colleges were the first to recognize how important are the qualities that video games foster as an extracurricular activity.
Middle schools and elementary ones will soon follow, like communication, leadership, empathy, and social skills are among the most fundamental aspects of gaming. And children need these to prosper in life from a young age.