Simply put, “esports” is the shortened name for electronic sports, which is the competitive realm of online multiplayer video games. Esports has grown tremendously over the last few years with the professional ranks receiving the bulk of the attention and revenue. However, we are now starting to see esports trickle down into the amateur ranks and youth education system as well, with the development of esports programs and teams at the High School and College levels. This is probably the most exciting time to be involved in the quickly-blossoming esports space.
Because esports revolves heavily around online team play and competition, the types of games you usually see being played are first-person shooters, arena battles and fighting games. Some of the more popular game titles include League of Legends, Overwatch, Counter-Strike, and Starcraft. However, due to how esports is structured, you typically don’t see Role-Playing Games due to the fact that it’s hard to structure competition around those. This means that very popular titles such as Skyrim, Dungeons and Dragons and The Witcher are not too relevant in esports today. Recently, we’ve also seen fighting game titles (Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, etc.) and sports game titles (Madden NFL, NBA 2K and FIFA) gain popularity as they make the jump into esports competitions as well.
We can confidently say that you don’t need to worry about your child using your own laptop or tablet for their gaming needs. There are several esports titles that are console-based, meaning that they are played on an Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or other type of console. This also means that your child may already have what they need to start their own esports journey. However, there are still a significant number of extremely popular game titles that are exclusively being played on PC. These types of games require a decently-powerful PC, a larger monitor, a keyboard, mouse and a very reliable Wi-Fi connection. Acquiring all of this equipment can be expensive, depending on the type of performance you’re looking for (could be spending anywhere from $1500 to $3000 on a professional gaming setup). If you need any recommendations to help reduce the costs without sacrificing much quality, we’re here to help.
Short answer – YES, you should definitely be concerned about screen time. One of the biggest negatives of esports is the amount of practice time it takes to really hone your craft and be competition ready. Most professional gamers are training up to 8 hours per day while gamers at the collegiate level can expect to train about 25 hours per week. As you can see, that type of training schedule doesn’t exactly promote good health and can quickly create a very sedentary lifestyle. What we recommend doing is managing your child’s screen time and setting aside time for other activities, outside of gaming. This should be great practice for their life as a collegiate student athlete, where they will be expected balance school work, a training schedule and any other activities outside of class.
Yes, your child can definitely receive a scholarship playing video games. The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) is the leading governing body for Varsity Esports in the country with over 80 member schools, 1500 student athletes and has awarded over $9 million in scholarship since its inception in 2016.
No! This question is one of the biggest reasons we started this company. While most gamers would consider a career in the professional ranks ideal, it’s not realistic to lean on professional gaming as a long term career due to how competitive the space has become. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t land a career in esports. While the industry is still new and growing, there are many different roles within esports. Even companies that aren’t necessarily tied to the esports industry are starting to add more roles and divisions that work within the space. Some examples of careers outside of professional gaming include shoutcasting (hosting) live events, journalism, and even becoming a Team Coach or Analyst. As the industry continues to grow, so do the career opportunities.