Friday, 28 December 2018

Why schools and universities should invest in esports.

The national Protea Team has its roots in both the universities and schools.
It is well known that Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) had its roots in the Wits Wargames Club in 1982 when Gavin Munro, Dorian Love, and Colin Webster realised that there was a need for a national federation in order to give gaming greater accreditation.

MSSA has always remained true to its roots and has  always actively pursued growth at both school and university level.

Unfortunately, in South Africa, there is much more emphasis given to the sports of football, rugby, and cricket, and the mind sports are left largely as 'Cinderella' sports, even though it it is vital that athletes be trained on a mental level as well as a physical level if they want to succeed.

With the rising costs of maintaining vast fields for the outdoor physical sports, and even a dwindling interest in such sports, it is now more important than ever for schools and universities to re-consider their involvement in mind sports - especially esports.


Jonathan Yates, in his article "

Ten Reasons Your Department Should Embrace eSports" identified 10 reasons why schools and universities should embrace esports within its sports departments.

In essence, the reasons according to Jonathan (put into South African terms) are:

  1. With the growth of esports, more-and-more educational institutions are getting involved.
  2. Esports has the ability to earn income as opposed to being a net expense to the institution.
  3. Smaller staffs are required to ensure the good-running of such a programme.
  4. There are lower maintenance costs as often existing venues can be utilised.
  5. Esports is perfect to promote gender and demographic equality. There is no reason an entire esports team cannot be female. 
  6. With most of the fans globally being in Asia, South African schools and universities could use esports to actively, and relatively cheaply, advertise into these areas. 
  7. Many learners and students will compete in both esports and other traditional sports.
  8. A sports department will embrace esports and develop the programme to draw new learners and students.
  9. An eports programme is an excellent way for synergistic relations with many academic departments that other sports simply cannot foster. Computer, math, engineering, and others can gain from working with an esports team. This engenders support for the sports department from a broader base in the rest of the educational institution.
  10. Esports allows sports departments to indulge in new revenue streams. As esports reflects the changing society this will become more important as the years progress.
Certainly, MSSA can attest to much of what Jonathan has written. Being the oldest, and longest, esports organisation in existence, MSSA has seen much otf the above to be true.

However, for any of the above to succeed it needs to have the total commitment of the sports department in order to create clear guidelines as  it would for any other sport.


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1 comment:

  1. How does one go about starting esports at a primary school?

    ReplyDelete