Gaming is immensely popular with the youth of today, with Pew Research finding around 70% of college kids in 2012 were gamers in some capacity. Video games have a strong impact on communication skills, socialization, hand eye coordination and teamwork.
Many students will not have the opportunity to participate in, or be recruited for, traditional athletic opportunities after high school. Student athletes may miss out on opportunities to play at a certain school due to positional considerations, cutbacks or other considerations. College backed esports programs help to better match students with schools and degrees where they can be successful, and the implemented structures provide students a toolkit to better thrive in the collegiate environment. Many colleges that offer varsity or equivalent esports programs have health and wellness support, dedicated coaching, tutoring, grade support, etc. for their students. Many schools offer scholarships and the admissions department will take feedback from coaches into consideration when making admissions decisions. Esports are quickly becoming a regular part of campus life, and the added benefits and considerations that esports can provide to a potential student are like traditional athletics in many cases. At SPIRE, we believe that it is this addition of support, guidance and coaching that will be transformative for many students who otherwise may not seek out the benefits of traditional sports. Esports offers a competitive outlet that any player can tap into, providing a catalyst for the lessons we have traditionally learned through team based athletic competitions. Dealing with adversity, success and failure, learning to work with others, learning to be unselfish for the good of the team, to take feedback and improve, are all lessons that can be effectively conveyed through an esports experience.