eSports

Esports describes competitive, organized video gaming. Players face off in popular titles such as: Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Overwatch, Rocket League, Madden NFL, and Super Smash Bros., to name a few. Millions of fans globally watch and follow Esports matches in person and online. Streaming services like Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube allow viewers to watch Esports matches in real time.

The number of Esports enthusiasts globally is staggering. 27 Million people watched the League of Legends Championship in 2017 [more than Game 7 of the World Series (23.5 million) and the final game of the NBA Finals (18 million)]. Projections are that over 589 million people will watch Esports by 2020.

Esports in an Educational Setting

Esports students develop healthier tech habits. Harnessing student interest in Esports is proving to be a valuable gateway into technology related STEM skills: programming, robotics, graphic design and web design. The majority of students in Esports clubs have never participated in an after-school activity previously. Extracurricular activities have shown to improve student attendance and GPA. In addition, Esports also provides opportunities to instill hard-to-teach Social Emotional competencies desired by employers. When beginning to understand how video games fit into education, it’s important to distinguish between several types of video game objectives, in particular Gamification, Esports, and Gaming Concepts.

Gamification:

Understanding gaming elements makes non-game content more enjoyable.
Aspects of gaming can be used in parallel to classroom content.
Gaming development serves as a tool to write and create stories.

Esports:

The competitive aspect of gaming.
Players compete against one another individually or in teams to reach an objective.
Team play teaches students valuable social skills.

Gaming Concepts:

Gaming elements can be used to enrich STEM curriculum.
Shared online experiences offers an opportunity to discuss netiquette.
Students learn to set goals, determine screen time, and keep track of nutrition and exercise to develop healthy gaming habits.

Esports in Higher Education

The Esports opportunities for students in higher education are growing rapidly as education leaders realize how competitive gaming benefits student retention and recruitment. There are tens of millions of dollars currently available in college scholarships. Esports is a Division I sport at nearly 100 universities. Schools like Ohio State University are working on academic esports programs to include offerings ranging from courses in Esports management to game design. University level computer science programs are exploring the uses of Esports data for big data analytics, machine learning, and AI programs

Esports at Loyola College Prep

Our Esports club was official founded in September of 2018. In Summer of 2019 we participated in our first tournament, playing Rocket League and winning 2nd place overall! In December of 2019 we formed a League of Legends team along with a Rainbow Six Siege team with the hopes of scrimmaging other local high school students sometime in the Spring of 2020. Currently, we practice 2 hours a week after school for each game. Our goal is to offer a fun and enriching series of events for our students who wish to enter into the gaming culture. As Esports continues to climb in popularity, Loyola will embrace this experience as another opportunity to continue the Jesuit Catholic traditions we hold so dear.

Faculty Advisor

Del Johnson
djohnson@loyolaprep.org

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