eSports could shape future visitors
October 03, 2017 3:05 AM
by Savannah Drews
The Electronic Gaming Federation (EGF) was founded in 2013 by Tyler Schrodt, who is also the company’s CEO. Its mission, according to their website, is to build a better version of the NCAA for eSports in college and high school by working with administrators across the United States to build formalized eSports programs.
The company is currently in “beta” mode, rolling out its pilot program for high schools this month, and last week it was reported that the Connecticut Association of Schools has joined EGF’s National High School eSports League, and will participate in that pilot program. More states and cities are expected to join in soon.
This is an important moment for the world of eSports. Not only is it being embraced and invested in by celebrities like J. Lo and Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch – but now eSports is being welcomed into the schools of our country as an official competitive sport.
Like the school football and soccer teams, the youth participating in the National eSports High School League will have weekly matches held online as well as traditional matches where the teams meet and clash head on, face-to-face. This pilot season is an exciting time to witness just how much the youth of the nation not only come together and learn critical thinking skills, but also how much they connect with each other and form a strong knit community the likes of which older generations have not seen before.
“Esports are an activity that challenges our young people to collaborate, think critically, and engage persistently, even in the face of repeated failure, to achieve some level of success toward a desired goal” says Clint Kennedy, supervisor of innovation at New London Public Schools in Connecticut. He sees many popular eSports games as “a way to build these critical skills in hopes that we can transfer them to other domains.”
The EGF and Connecticut are hoping this league will connect students not only across the state, but also across the globe, giving them new friends and comrades who share similar interests and enjoy playing games together.
Although some parents are a bit concerned at the thought of replacing track and basketball with a video game, Connecticut teachers and school staff are encouraging them to give eSports a chance.
“I think that for parents who aren’t sure, watch your kids after a win,” said Charles Wentzell, a science teacher at New Haven Academy. “Watch your kids after a loss. They get together. They console each other. They act like a real team.”
Perhaps the best thing about the High School eSports League is it gives students who either can’t participate or don’t have the confidence to participate in traditional sports, a chance to be a part of something that is similar. It will open a new world of interactions, friends, and personal development they otherwise may not have had the chance to be exposed to.
Although this is a great opportunity for the youth to join up with a league and create their own team, how does this pan out for the casino scene? Does it even benefit them at all?
Of course! And Las Vegas should be paying attention as these high school students are the future visitors to casinos, and EGF’s new league may influence what they expect to find when they do.