An ever-growing number of educators are embracing the concept of esports and understanding the various benefits, but many are still unsure about precisely how to build a successful esports program in high school. Ultimately, a successful program will rely on many things, including an appropriate curriculum, the right goals, good recruitment, and the provision of high-quality equipment.
Read on to learn more about how to establish a successful high school esports program. If you already have an esports team at your school, you can check out ViewSonic ELITE’s gaming monitors.
Competitive video game playing, or esports, is playing an increasingly important role within academic settings and if you are looking to embrace it, it is important to understand how to build a successful esports program in high school. Typically, this means establishing an esports club and creating a curriculum of sorts.
The best high school esports clubs will have clear goals, facilitate skills development, and have appropriate budget management too. Beyond this, esports is becoming a viable career path too and high school esports teams need to assist students in exploring possibilities in this area as well.
In this article, we explain the various steps required to build a successful program.
Step 1: Start a School Esports Club
The first step if you are looking to build a successful esports program in high school is to start an esports club. Some key preliminary activities here will likely include deciding on a time and place for the club to meet and speaking to senior decision-makers at the school about the many potential benefits associated with esports.
For example, much like traditional sports, esports can help to teach important life skills, such as teamwork, strategic thinking, and the ability to persevere to overcome adversity. It can also help to provide valuable time for students to socialize and take part in an activity they enjoy outside of the usual school hours.
Your club should be as inclusive and accessible as possible and you should look to recruit members who are enthusiastic about competitive gaming, but also willing to put the time and effort in. While this competitive element is extremely important, it is also essential to remember that the club should be fun for all involved.
Step 2: Make the Important Decisions
The next step is to make several important decisions about the esports club. For example, you are going to want to come up with an esports team name and you will also need to think about how to spread the word about the club to attract new participants. You might need to think about joining an esports association too.
Beyond this, there are several key questions you will need to answer. Who are you going to compete against? When will you have these competitions? What games are you going to focus on?
Consideration needs to be given to fundraising and budget management. How are you going to pay for the equipment needed? It may be possible to acquire funding from senior decision-makers at the school, but if this proves difficult you might need to think about other options, such as membership fees or fundraising events.
Step 3: Come Up with a Curriculum
For the next stage in the process, you are going to need to start thinking about creating a curriculum or providing club members with some kind of structure or framework. After all, to get the most from the club, students cannot simply be left to their own devices to play video games like they would at home.
A sensible starting point here is to think about some broad aims and objectives for the esports club. What are you hoping to achieve through the club? Success in esports competitions is a legitimate aim, but you should also think about other rewards, especially with esports scholarships available from major colleges and universities.
Try to think about valuable life lessons that can be taught using video games too. Put aside time for theoretical and strategic lessons, as well as practical gaming sessions. If you treat the club with care and provide a real structure for members, you can maximize the benefits for all the students who join.
Step 4: Obtain the Right Equipment
To give your club the best possible chance of actually being competitive, you are also going to need to provide the right equipment. This will include finding good gaming computers and monitors, but also various gaming accessories.
You are going to need to invest in desks and chairs for the club to use and these need to benefit from ergonomic design. Students need to sit at an appropriate distance from the screen to avoid eye strain, and you may also need to think about both function and comfort when it comes to things like headsets and controllers too.
Failure to provide the right equipment and setup can result in your esports club being at a competitive disadvantage due to issues like frame rate drops or even physical discomfort. With that being said, the balancing act here is providing the best possible equipment, without exceeding the budget available to the club.
Step 5: Start Playing Video Games
Once you have the right esports setup in place, you need to think about actually playing some games. You can find opponents from other schools and the great thing about online gaming is these schools do not even have to be in the nearby area. All you need to do is find opponents who can play when your club plays.
The precise games you opt to focus on will depend on several factors, including the individual preferences of club members, which games are popular at the time, and which games you can find opponents for. However, ideally, you should try to offer a variety of genres: first-person shooters, multiplayer battle arena games, driving games, and so on.
Ultimately, the simple act of playing video games will be at the very heart of any esports club. It is also only through this process that you can start to think of the final phase, where you start to help students to develop their skills and improve in the areas to win more games.
Step 6: Provide Competition Training
The last step involves your esports club providing valuable competition training, which should be geared towards getting the participants ready for any future gaming tournaments. Training can be as simple as providing time for students to play their chosen games, but theoretical lessons are perfectly possible too.
For example, resources like Twitch have an abundance of video game and esports content and it should be relatively simple to find tips and tricks for most popular games. You may also need to work with students on an individual level, helping them to address their weaknesses and harness their strengths.
Another good tip here is to use footage from previous sessions, so that club members can identify plus points and areas for improvements, such as mistakes that have been made, or bad habits that need to be addressed.
To build a successful esports program in high school, you need more than just club members and the right equipment. While playing video games should be fun, one of the key aims of esports in academic settings should still be to teach students valuable lessons and help them develop useful life skills.
For this reason, a major focus should be placed on providing some form of structure to the club, with sessions for competition training and others for broader lessons that can be taught through the medium of video games. When this is achieved, the esports club can start to have a long-lasting positive influence on the school.
To further the success of your esports team, it is essential to make sure that you have quality gaming equipment to gain a competitive advantage. Read our complete guide of an esports setup here or discover our collection of professional and casual gaming monitors here.