eSports classes in school
A couple of days ago had a chance to meet with one of the best eSports teacher I know and we had a fascinating conversation. No one can argue that 2017 has seen eSports continue to grow throughout the world. Hardly a day goes by without a new development ranging from new eSports events to lucrative sponsorships of, or acquisitions of interests in, eSports teams and even suggestions that eSports should become an Olympic event in 2024.With eSports continuing its rise into the public psyche and towards general acceptance, some schools both high schools and elementary as well colleges and Universities have started to accept competitive games as a part of their education.According to the teacher who is working in specialized eSports school, the teaching will be a big business in coming years and for his case, he has just included games such as League of Legends, Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive which he is teaching as part of his school core curriculum. He revealed to your blogger that the school has placed eSports into one subject, students have six hours of class with the game of their choice added to their current load of 32 hours. He added that school grading weight will be similar to subjects such as Science or Maths, which further enhances its importance in the schedule of study.The eventual goal of the course is to create a team that can play competitively in the global scene within a space of two years. Countries like Sweden, Norway and Australia have already been offering eSports as an elective subject in the primary and secondary level for quite a long time now. Those of us old enough know competitive computer gaming has a history as long as video games themselves, going back to more than four decades. However, it is only more recently that eSports have emerged into mainstream consciousness.The growing popularity of eSports has been brought about largely by advances in internet technology. Faster bandwidth has not only enabled more complex and strategic games to evolve but it has, through digital streaming platforms allowed fans to observe and engage with their favourite eSports and one can see the reason what is making schools offer those courses.Three years ago, Chicago’s Robert Morris University revealed they had began offering tiered scholarships for players of the popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game, League of Legends commonly known as LoL.
The LoL eSports team in support released a short video feature where they showed the day-to-day activities of Robert Morris University’s eSports student athletes. Details available show League scholarships are offered in different tiers, with scholars afforded up to 50 percent tuition and 50 percent room and board for entering their eSports program.Experts have described Robert Morris University’s support of student athletes as a way of crediting those with a competitive spirit who don’t necessarily want to play traditional sports.LoL makes over $1 billion annually and is widely regarded as the largest eSports title in the world in terms of market share and concurrent user base.Just like the traditional sports, eSports encompasses numerous games or competitions and the teacher told me it should be seen as a collective of different individual video games rather than a single identifiable competition. He said games cover different genres such as Multiplayer Online Battle Area referred as MOBA, Real-Time Strategy also known as RTS and First Person Shooters also described as FPS, Fighting, and Sports Simulation. While sports simulation games such as NBA2k and FIFA are also popular, the teacher believes that only video games such as League of Legends, StarCraft II, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive which will remain the most popular eSport game titles for years to come and simulation sports won’t catch up.During our chinwag, the debate whether eSports is actually a sport or not, depends on your age and upbringing. In his and my view, there is crystal clear facts that many eSports have similar characteristics to a traditional sports like barriers to to entering competition, high-stakes winning, competitions, skills and training, fans as well as technological infrastructure. He was glad that now we are seeing eSports players being recognized as professional athletes. Despite this, he said traditionalists reservations still exists about whether eSports should be considered a sport.Whether or not eSports is a sport is, in some respects, irrelevant. The reality is that eSports is now part of the multi-billion dollar entertainment industry and is being treated as such by persons like Contador Harrison and organizations with significant influence. Streaming sites are registering incredible viewer numbers and traditional broadcasters and multinational companies looking for sponsorships are also starting to show an increased interest in eSports. As we concluded, it was clear that both of us are on the right side of history.