When it comes to extracurricular activity, a lot of colleges and universities stick to the traditional: sports, clubs, Greek life, etc. But it’s the ones who are branching out to try something new that are seeing the most benefits.
The National Association of Collegiate Esports reported that more than 170 colleges or universities in the United States have a varsity esports program, offering around $16 million in scholarships. There are hundreds of others who treat esports like a club, welcoming it on campus but providing minimal support.
We’ve seen esports rise rapidly in popularity, so it’s likely we’ll see it widely adopted across more colleges and universities in the coming years. This is a smart move for higher education institutions — let’s talk about why.
From a solely practical standpoint, having esports can be a successful tool for student recruitment. Offering esports is a great way to attract students who have good critical thinking, teamwork, innovation, and self-directed learning skills. Those traits are common among gamers and translate well into the classroom and beyond. Plus, 90% of teens play video games in some capacity according to Pew Research, so it’s a great way to start a conversation around something teens can relate to.
Aside from that, an esports team is a great addition to schools with strong Technology and STEM programs. Did you know that 62% of collegiate level League of Legends players are STEM majors? Colleges and universities looking to either grow their technology programs or offer activities to cater to a high percentage of technology/STEM majors can do so through esports.
All in all, esports are a good way to form a diverse community. Odds are there is already a community of people on campus that play video games regularly for fun, and esports allows you to connect them through a common interest.
One last benefit of esports on campus is that it’s a safe, no-contact activity. Amid concerns about COVID-19 and other communicable diseases, it’s great to add activities that won’t put anyone in harm’s way regardless of the current situation.
As esports continues to gain popularity, colleges and universities will be racing to become the first “big esports school” — but it’s a process that takes a lot of preparation. But with the help of an audio video conferencing company, campuses can be transformed easily.
With video conferencing equipment paired with the latest gaming equipment and PCs, you can create a dedicated space for esports teams to gather and play, or host a tournament of your own. That’s why we’re excited to offer our Engage solution, that brings flexibility and personalization to your esports program. Our subscription-based service meets esports needs like configurable PCs, modular furniture, technical support, and more. This is a great choice for institutions looking to introduce esports for the first time since they can focus on growing the program and creating a successful team rather than handling the administrative aspects of starting a program.
Interested in introducing game play like no other? Contact an IVCi Esports Expert today.