The value of esports is particularly relevant at the post-secondary level for student development, recruitment and retention.
TORONTO, November 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Esports, an activity in which video games are played competitively by professionals, is a growing trend in the education sector. Esports is popular with a variety of students, including those who may not be interested in traditional sports and may otherwise see little extracurricular engagement on campus. As many professionals and IT teams in education may not be familiar with eSports, global IT research and advisory firm Info-Tech Research Group has released a new industry roadmap titled Develop and mature an esports program in education to take advantage of this new opportunity.
In education, eSports is considered a full K-20 activity with the potential to span the entire academic career of most students. For universities, developing relationships with local high schools via esports can also provide a recruitment channel through scholarship programs to find students with high academic potential. In addition, exercise can have a positive impact and improve student retention for the following reasons:
1. Many students are involved in esports.
2. Many gamers are not yet otherwise employed on campus.
3. Esports can provide multiple entry points, creating a very diverse group
Esports often develops ad hoc, but without a coherent plan, it is difficult to identify initiatives that should be taken and when. Info-Tech’s resource explains that while IT is often involved in the development of an eSports program due to the technical nature of its foundation, many within IT and elsewhere in school, college or university are unfamiliar with the eSports field are.
“Despite the lack of physical activity, esports have significant similarities to traditional sports,” says Markus MabiDirector of Research at Info-Tech Research Group. “This includes the focus on team collaboration and the range of participation, from casual to competitive “Athletes” and spectators. These similarities mean that the school or college can use their existing track and field expertise to support the sport.”
Info-Tech’s research shows that the concept of esports has the potential to become as popular as traditional sports and can help develop and support essential life skills.
“The main difference is the technology, and IT is often central to the development and management of esports,” explains mom. “Info-Tech’s research provides IT with information about the growth of eSports in education and how an eSports program typically matures. It also helps IT guide and mature the esports initiative in their district or institution.”
Although adoption is still in its early stages and traditional sports lack governance, by leveraging a maturity model, an eSports program can benefit educational institutions while minimizing eSports downsides and mitigating organizational challenges.
To learn more about Esports in Education, download the full Develop and mature an esports program in education Draft.
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SOURCE Info-Tech Research Group