While the collegiate scene is less than a decade old, esports, in some form or fashion, has been around for quite some time. Back in the 70s and 80s, there were in-person tournaments for arcade games. Today, there are no end to the styles and forms a video game tournament can take. There are no set in stone rules for esports. In a way, it's still the wild west across the industry. There is very little structure to support the global esports scene. Each organization is trying to carve out their corner, and companies are launched, bought, and sold at an insanely rapid pace in the realm of esports. However, with the advent of true collegiate esports, there was a shift in how esports operated. From middle school through college, institutions began to launch esports programs in droves with the Midwest as the center for most of that activity. Leagues started becoming more structured in order to handle the large number of teams now, which, for any competition, is a good thing. With NCAA and NJCAAE conferences starting their own esports leagues and outside companies like Generation Esports entering the mix, the collegiate scene has developed into something as recognizable major sports league.
Why then is esports a good thing for students, and why should we support its development? We've all heard the tropes and sneers about gaming being bad for you and that it hurts your grades while in school. Well, I can say that anything, for the most part, without structure and supervision can hurt your academic performance. Video games were never given the same level of attention as other activities until now. With the organization that esports brings to college campuses, people that previously had no community now have a place of support and acceptance. A place to hone their craft. Furthermore, these students now have regular grade-checks and must maintain those grades in order to play. Esports goes beyond just gaming. The competitive environment teaches students communication and teamwork skills. If you're a streamer for a program, you can learn media skills in broadcasting and public relations. Our program, specifically, is geared towards helping students build their own brands that they can take with them after they graduate. Anything from PC maintenance to marketing are part of the esports industry, and students that engage with these esports programs often have a more positive outlook on both their career paths and academics. Plus, we now offer scholarships!
If you're interested in beginning your esports journey, come check us out here at Louisburg College! We'd love to help you learn and grow so that you can thrive in the esports industry.