As esports begins to take over the scene, more and more young gamers consider this career as an option. However, from some parents POV it's just kids addicted to playing video games. But what exactly is esports and how is it becoming a part of our education system?
What are esports?
Esports are the competitive side of multiplayer gaming. However, there are numerous ways, venues, and games to participate in.
On the Internet, large-scale esports competitions are held all the time, with players participating from their homes. Users can join matchups as individuals or as teams on platforms like Faceit, Battlefy, and World Gaming Network. Although many players participate in online tournaments only for the thrill, financial prizes are frequently awarded.
If a teen joins an esports team at school, the games are played over the school's Internet connection, and there is no traveling involved — with the exception of postseason games and state championships, of course. Esports are becoming increasingly popular as varsity sports in colleges. Then there's the live, professional circuit, where players compete against each other.
Are esports a risk for kids?
Putting in the hours required to get good at anything takes a toll. Esports carry risks for the body — and, possibly, the developing brain. The eight to 12 hours that many top esports players say they train per day has led to an increase in computer-related injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive strain injury and back pain. And after several competitors suffered collapsed lungs, players are being warned not to hold their breath during intense moments. Though esports don’t have the same physical risks as contact sports such as football, pro players and ex-pros complain of burnout.
How a high volume of video-game playing affects the human brain is the subject of ongoing research. Some studies indicate playing video games could be beneficial. But it could have negative effects on a person’s thinking, understanding of the world and other brain processes, including creating addiction. Also potentially problematic are the games themselves, which can be violent; research shows that overexposure to such violent media can lead to aggressive thoughts and behavior.
What's the training like?
High school esports, like other sports such as baseball, swimming, and field hockey, begin with tryouts and the selection of team leaders. The season then progressed with daily team workouts and regular regional matches, culminating in large state-sanctioned championships.
Coaches look for team players that can lead and encourage their colleagues, as well as think quickly and strategically. (They must also maintain a minimal GPA and attend school regularly, according to Gretna High School esports coach Ingraham-Beck.) "It's necessary to understand how the game works, its functioning," says Nabasny, a Chicago high school esports coach, "but it's also important to be able to collaborate with people and create a dynamic that is fluid and changing continually."
The most important factor is teamwork. Many games are played with six players at a time, and participants must plan a team-based strategy that efficiently responds to their opponents' diverse offensive and defensive patterns. According to Ingraham-Beck, they examine maps, go over choke areas, and look for strategic benefits.
'Game footage' is frequently reviewed with student captains and coaches during sessions to learn from prior wins and defeats.
Even if planned methods must be abandoned during games, the teams' preparation pays off. "You can speculate about where the other team will come from, but if they don't, your strategy is abandoned and you'll have to come up with something else," Ingraham-Beck adds. Critical-thinking abilities shine in the midst of battle: "You have to decide whether you want to use that power right now or wait for a better chance.
The games that are sanctioned for esports vary per state, although popular titles like League of Legends, Overwatch, Super Smash Brothers, and Fortnite are common.
Remember Fortnite, the addictive game that once wreaked havoc on classrooms and family dinners? It hasn't gone away, which might be a good thing. It may help pupils exercise teamwork and collaboration, as well as strategic thinking, spatial comprehension, and imagination, according to Stanford experts.
Is there a career in esports?
Yes, and it's not limited to just becoming a professional gamer. As the industry continues to grow around the world, more jobs and career pathways are being created in esports, creating a demand for people with specific skills. Esports is a diverse industry with plenty of opportunities for professional gamers as well as casters, commentators, and other support staff members hired by esports tournaments such as producers, editors, analysts, product managers, game testers, referees, production crew members, event managers, social media managers, and so on. Learn more about esports research - https://www.varsityesportsfoundation.org/research
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