Cybersports has long been a mainstream concept with a large number of multi-million dollar tournaments, a wide variety of disciplines and esports organizations. In many countries e-sports is already officially recognised as a sport with the relevant national federations.
The esports industry has also helped to create a lot of jobs and raise a number of related spheres. In esports you can become an athlete and coach, as well as a team manager, analyst, editor of a news site or even a betting tipster. As a result, csgo gambling sites have grown in popularity accordingly. Given the upward trends, it was only a matter of time before esports started making its way into schools and universities.
Living in the digital age, it’s not hard to guess that young people can choose esports disciplines such as CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends or VALORANT instead of the karate or football sections. Some may become professional players, while others will touch any other aspect of the industry.
In this article we will look at esports in education, how it is embedded in the learning process, what skills esports and competitive gameplay in general helps to develop, and its impact on communication skills and socialization.
E-Sports in Education: An Overview
Cybersports has always been closely associated with youth and children. But in the past it has always been underground, finding its home on home computers or in computer clubs. Now the trend has changed and esports is increasingly making its way into the learning environment.
With the right approach esports can become both a section at school or university, where pupils or students compete with each other, honing skills and abilities, which we will talk about later, and a full-fledged training programme, which will help the younger generation to get qualifications for future job search. In general, there are many options for implementation, so let’s take a closer look at this topic.
The rise of E-Sports programmes and clubs in schools
With the sharp popularization of Esports, it began to rapidly penetrate educational programmes and schools in the second half of the 2010s. The pioneers in this direction were Asian countries, in particular Japan, as well as the USA.
Everything started with the banal and obvious – experimental programmes and courses to train players with the prospect of becoming a game analyst or coach, if not a player. This idea was later developed.
Integration of E-Sports into curricula and extracurricular activities
There are two main approaches to integrating E-Sports into curricula and extracurricular activities. In school programmes, video games and esports are added either as separate subjects or as part of existing disciplines, as it allows for the development of skills necessary for each individual. Universities, in turn, are creating entire specialities and training programmes, upon completion of which students can obtain a diploma and a profession in a promising industry.
Extracurricular activities related to the environment are e-sports sections, as well as participation in school or university teams. Such teams can participate and compete in various academic leagues. This practice is actively used in Overwatch, where there are entire university leagues, which feature line-ups made up of students from higher education institutions. Representatives of school and university leagues are The Middle School Esports League and The High School Esports League.
Cognitive and Skill Development
It is important to mention the benefits of esports, which, in addition to bright emotions, pleasant pastime and the possibility of earning money, helps to develop a range of skills and abilities in young people and not only. From the banal and obvious it is worth noting the speed of reaction and the skill of quick decision making, because most of the first-person shooter, MOBA or battle royale disciplines will require you to do just that. Regular practice helps to pump up these skills.
Also in young people and teenagers, esports games can improve the ability to think creatively and find non-standard solutions for the tasks at hand. All these skills will help not only if you decide to connect your professional life with eѕроrtѕ, but also in other spheres of activity. And in general in life it will not be superfluous.
Development of teamwork and communication skills
An important aspect of most esports disciplines, and in particular such popular ones as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, League of Legends, Call of Duty, Overwatch, VALORANT and many others, is the fact that they are team games. That is, you have to interact with other players, which means that you can’t do without communication and teamwork.
Accordingly, the integration of esports into the learning process helps young people, teenagers and children to improve their eloquence and communication skills. It also enables better teamwork, which will help in future work.
Collaborative gameplay and effective communication
Team games require in-game interaction with other players and members of your team. The key to this is effective communication, the ability to recognise cues and short commands from teammates, and the need to express yourself correctly and clearly in a fast-paced environment.
Regular practice in the disciplines of public speaking will help improve all of the above skills, which will help you communicate more effectively with others in the future. And in some professions, public speaking skills are an integral part of the job.
Learning to work in diverse and interdisciplinary teams
All people are different, they have different personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Accordingly, it is necessary to find an individual approach to each person for productive interaction. Introducing esports into the educational process will help to develop skills to work in diverse teams and with different people.
The ability to choose words and communicate properly with people with whom you need to cooperate to achieve joint goals, even if you may not like that person, is an important quality of any valuable specialist. And esports is precisely the perfect tool for developing socialization skills.
Balancing E-Sports and Academics
An important issue to consider when introducing esports into the educational process is the balance between esports as a part of education and other academic disciplines. It is necessary to create conditions in which еѕроrtѕive activities fulfill well-defined functions and are time-limited. In this way they will not interfere with the rest of the learning process.
The introduction of esports into education helps to develop a range of useful skills in pupils and students, including reaction speed, decision-making, communication, creative thinking and finding non-standard solutions. What makes this collaboration innovative is the use of a new and engaging way of learning. The gaming form of education is perfect for young people, as video games and esports are now at the peak of popularity and continue to grow. In the future, the influence of esports on the educational process can be studied in more detail, because this sphere is extremely dynamic and changeable.