5 Reasons Why Learning About Esports Will Definitely Help Schools
Kirjoittanut Craig Morris 22 kesäkuun, 2021
Esports is a growing trend that has taken the world by storm and it is clear that it is here to stay. With a new wave of people striving to become the next Faker, or s1mple, or iceiceice, there is simply too many to ignore, and because of this there is also the incentive to […]
Esports is a growing trend that has taken the world by storm and it is clear that it is here to stay. With a new wave of people striving to become the next Faker, or s1mple, or iceiceice, there is simply too many to ignore, and because of this there is also the incentive to learn more about the ins and outs of esports and the next generation of industry professionals.
The first step is to bring education about esports into our schools, but why should schools even bother with it to begin with? Would it even help?
Here at Incoach we always want to educate people more about the validity and importance of esports, and in this article, we hope to convince you with a few of the many reasons why schools should choose esports and bring it into their curriculum, in some shape or form!
Esports is trendy, popular and engaging
As mentioned, esports is incredibly popular. Similarly to traditional sports, there are stadiums filled for major events, and various different esports with vastly different skill requirements. This creates a viewing experience that is not only diverse between the different genres but even from the very same. Similarly to Tennis and Badminton, or table tennis, Dota 2, League of Legends, and SMITE may have the same general ideas and goals, but the fundamentals and mechanics from each game may vary, as well skills involved.
All of this creates the major need for people to learn more about esports, and not assume that it is as it used to be - simply a hobby that has the occasional event or two. It is far more than that now. It is an entire industry with professionals getting paid for playing the games, coaching the players, researching other teams and strategies, and so much more.
This point alone should encourage schools to try to incorporate esports into their system. It creates interest from potential new students, creates more job opportunities should a school decide on opening a course instead of scholarships or extracurriculars, and creates many more potential business partners and connections within the industry locally and potentially nationally or beyond.
Though as popular as it may be, there is more to it than just the popularity of the industry that should entice schools to educate themselves and their students about it- the next reason should make it clearer.
Esports - Video Games - Have evolved beyond just a hobby
To understand why esports has developed into such a large thing, it is important to know its origin as a hobby. Dancing, singing, painting, drawing, learning guitar, photography, soccer. All of these hobbies when done enough and mastered have the potential to become a professional career. What makes video games any different?
Hobbies are how we as humans decide to spend our free time with, or what we do to escape stressful instances in our lives. It is something that comforts us and something we enjoy doing. Not necessarily thinking about gaining anything from it when we first started our hobbies, it is simply what we found enjoyable, so we keep doing it. With this, it is natural for one to be so passionate about their hobby that it develops into a high level skill- one that would bring in the possibilities of turning the hobby into a job that they can love. This is the case with many musicians, athletes, or dancers.
It was a matter of time that this would happen, and this makes it important as an educating body in your own town- or country- to learn more about it beyond what it was once stigmatized as. Videogames are not a mindless endeavour as what many people would like you to believe.
This stigma, is still around, and we believe it is something that must change. Educating ourselves about the nuances and values one can get from videogames- from esports- is something very helpful not just for schools but those of the same mind that they are still 'childish' or 'not worth pursuing'.
Understanding that esports has valuable skills that shouldn't be ignored
Videogames have varying skillset requirements across its plethora of different genres- and while it may not seem physically demanding from the outside looking in, this is not necessarily true.
Across all videogames there is a necessity to learn the fundamentals and different mechanisms involved in the game of choice. How one should do the different mechanics in their game to their advantage, how one can reach their end goal in the video game, and how long it takes to get good enough at these different game-specific skills are just a few things to mention.
There is a large mental aspect to getting better at videogames, and depending on the genre of the game these skills become more or less taxing. In fighting games, professional players are expected to make split second decision making to find advantages or get out of any disadvantages because typically it only takes a few hits to lose the entire match.
A very well documented example of this is Evo Moment #37, a professional match between two players which garnered so much attention, praise, and unbridled levels of excitement from spectators during the moment and even many years later, that it has its own book.
The video below is the moment in question, thanks to the evo2kvids youtube channel.
While onlookers foreign to the game may be confused as to what makes this moment special, it is clear from the reaction from the audience and commentary that it is not an ordinary or commonplace occurrence.
Daigo Umehara and Justin Wong are playing Ken, and Chun-Li respectively, in the game, Street Fighter III: Third Strike. Meeting in a tournament's Loser's Bracket Finals, the winner of this match will proceed to the Grand Finals. Each match comprises of three games, and each game has 3 rounds. In match number one, they are both tied 1-1. Justin Wong has a massive advantage of Daigo being at a single pixel of health remaining - which means any hit he does, even if blocked, will give him the first point in their best of three match.
This prompts Justin to decide to go for Chun-Li's super art, which does 20 hits and chases after Daigo. With how little space there is between the two players, in most cases, this will end up becoming a victory for Justin.
However, Daigo manages to parry every single one of the 20 hits, in this moment, allowing him to not take any damage, and even manages to close it out with a combo of his own right after the final parry. The moment he decided to go for the full parry into combo finish in his mind, there was no turning back. This rings true for most videogames today.
Daigo had to do this within milliseconds, in a large crowd, and with the pressure of being a Japanese national in a foreign land. This requires plenty of hand-eye coordination, focus, in-depth knowledge of the game, precise timing and movement as well as courage to do.
He did not need to do this risky manoeuvre at all, as it is the first game of three. But as a self-motivated competitor hungry for the victory, he did. The momentum swing from winning this round allowed him to win his match against Justin, though he would end up losing in the Grand Finals.
Once you acknowledge that esports does have merit with the various skills you could get from it, would it not make sense to elevate it to more than just the 'childish games' moniker it used to have? Though perhaps it would take more convincing, what other skills can you get from esports that does not involve in-game specific things? Skills that would work in the real world as many people would like to say to bring down its legitimacy.
Esports promote various soft skills
In the previous example, I had mentioned in-game specific hard skills, such as game knowledge, hand-eye coordination, or precise timing. However, esports actually promote soft skills quite heavily, especially in more team-based esports. The soft skills required for each game may vary, there are very common denominators that is true with every esport.
I will not be mentioning decisiveness as that should be a given, and was mentioned in the previous example with EVO Moment #37. Very few games have little to no decision making required- thus decisiveness is indeed included in the list below but won't be mentioned.
Problem solving skills are prevalent in every esport or video game. CS:GO players everyday have to decide how to manage their economy every round or how to push a site, or how to fight a 1 versus 4 situation. League of Legends and Dota 2 players have to decide on itemization options and wave management.
Adaptability is a huge part of every single esport. Due to most esports being live service games, patches are made every so often which increases, or decreases the strength of various characters, removes mechanics from the game, or even changes the fundamentals of the game in some shape or form. These are all changes that greatly impacts the playerbase and the best players of any esport are those who are the most adaptable to these changes, a lot of the time.
Ability to work under pressure and time management is another soft skill that is very prevalent in esports. Video games inherently have a timer on them, most of the time. This is most common in one versus one games, or first person shooters, encouraging faster paced gameplay, but also to add pressure on to the players to do more than just hide.
However, even those without a timer ticking down to zero, there are degrees of time management required. Efficient resource flow from your workers in Real Time Strategy games (RTS) such as Starcraft can be an example, or even the respawn timers in Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBA) such as League of Legends, where teams or players must decide what they can do uncontested by the enemy being out of commission.
These are just some examples of the soft skills being elaborated on, but other examples of soft skills that can be found on esports are:
Communication, Negotiation, Leadership: Any multiplayer game Teamwork: Any multiplayer game Willingness to Learn: Any game, to reach a high level Critical Thinking: Any game, goes hand in hand with problem-solving, applies to patch changes and how a patch affects a player. Open-mindedness: Any esport, allows for formulation of new strategies
When schools can take advantage of the soft skills that these esports promote, it will help them in the formation of students that can actually succeed further in life in more than just the industry.
One soft skill which also applies to esports, is Responsibility. Being responsible with your role in the game and knowing what to do in your role. However, that brings up the next point which makes it good for schools to learn more about esports.
As mentioned previously, because of the nature of esports having originated as a hobby that people enjoy doing much like other traditional hobbies: it is something that the youth go to in order to relieve their stress or escape their problems in this world.
But sometimes, this happens too much, or their real life problems escalate to the point that they can no longer cope with all of the burden of real life and end up playing more, and more, neglecting their responsibilities.
Video game addiction is a very real thing, and demonizing esports or video games is not the way to help out those in need of help. An addiction is an addiction, and prevention is the greatest cure.
When schools are more inclined to learn about esports, about videogames, they must not forget the importance of being a responsible person. There are many gaming companies out there with the sole goal of monetizing off of young adults, adolescents, and even kids by showing them shiny new toys to play with during their times of leisure or escapism.
There are students out there with lives they feel are horrible, and the only way they can escape is through copious amounts of playtime, neglecting their own personal health or responsibilities.
As adolescents, demonizing them for their hobby won't do anything but make them feel emotions of resentment, or wanting to push themselves away even more. It is only through understanding the problem and teaching how to deal with their situations, that we are able to help the prevent the future generation be less responsible or capable as adults. It is only through learning more about videogames ourselves, and by not treating it like child's-play, that we are able to help them feel more comfortable with opening up, with doing what they need to, while maintaining their hobby.
This is exactly why I cannot write with a clear conscience that responsibility is another soft skill that is being promoted in esports or videogames, because irresponsibility is prevalent and a big problem in the world, and videogames are one reason why. This entire point is to bring awareness to this fact that esports is legitimate, and can help schools help themselves not just monetarily due to the popularity of esports, but also help their students as well, which should the the primary focus of an educational facility.
When this negative stigma about videogames finally goes away as a whole, and it becomes treated as an equal to any other hobby instead of being seen as worthless, I personally believe it will become a step in the right direction for society as a whole. With how fast the industry is growing and the fact that there are now entire franchise leagues and large scale salaries or prize pools on the line, it is time to stop treating esports differently.
It is a legitimate career, albeit a short term one. Just like any other sport, or any other profession outside of traditional academic professions, the students wanting to pursue a career in this field must be supported adequately, and properly. Through better understanding of the media, through acknowledging the skills that one can learn through videogames, and understand the reasons why people go into video games in the first place as a hobby, esports is here to stay and much like the professional players adapting to every patch, it is time for the world to adapt to esports.
To help promote much healthier gaming habits, and to promote a much healthier lifestyle for the student, it is the job of educators to not only teach their subjects to their classes, but to also teach values, and promote sustainable living, for the next generation to flourish as the ones before it. Esports should not be treated any differently from regular sports, or classes such as Art, or Music. It is a thriving part of society now, and these are the 5 Reasons are why Learning About Esports Will Help Schools.
We want to help you find the best possible practice for esports education
Here at Incoach we've arrange tens of esports programs around Finland. Our experienced coaching reaches over 100 students weekly and works as a big enabler for many potential young players. We want to encourage and help schools bring esports into their curriculum and provide students with truly interesting studies while teaching useful future skills.
Esports is still new, trending and quickly developing - which means it is also a prime time to get engaged in electronic sports and education around it. We're always happy to help schools on their journey towards offering esports in their own unique way. Our flexible programs can be tailored and implemented in just few weeks and arranged according to your schools schedule. For more information about esports education please contact us through email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone +358 50 492 7787, we're available 7 days a week! You can read more about our studies and implementations on our website at www.incoach.gg as well.