|It is through esports that many of South Africa's youth are able to be selected for national teams, obtain sponsorships, and bursaries.|
Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) has long held the view that esports can play a significant role in enabling disadvantaged youth. Such is done in several ways:
: Esports provides an opportunity for young people, regardless of their socio-economic background, to engage in a competitive and rapidly growing industry. Unlike traditional sports, esports doesn't require access to expensive equipment or facilities, making it more accessible to disadvantaged youth.
- : Engaging in esports can help youth develop valuable skills such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and strategic thinking. These skills are not only useful in the gaming world but also in education and the job market.
- : Esports often involves coaching and mentorship programs, where experienced players or coaches guide younger players. This can provide disadvantaged youth with positive role models and valuable guidance.
- : Many universities and educational institutions now offer esports scholarships. Disadvantaged youth who excel in esports can use these scholarships to access higher education and pursue careers in the gaming industry or related fields.
- : Esports communities can be inclusive and welcoming, providing a sense of belonging for youth who may feel isolated in other aspects of their lives. This can help boost their self-esteem and mental well-being.
- : Esports isn't just about playing games; it also encompasses various aspects like event management, content creation, and team management. Disadvantaged youth with an entrepreneurial spirit can explore opportunities within the esports ecosystem to start their own businesses.
- : Engagement in esports often involves using technology and digital platforms extensively. This can enhance digital literacy among disadvantaged youth, a skill that is increasingly essential in today's job market.
- : Talented esports players, content creators, and streamers can earn income through sponsorships, advertisements, and merchandise sales. For disadvantaged youth, this can be a source of income and financial independence.
- : Esports provides a safe and controlled environment for young people to socialize and compete. This can be especially valuable in areas where there are limited safe recreational opportunities.
- : The esports community is increasingly recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusivity. Efforts to reduce toxicity and promote respect can create a more welcoming environment for disadvantaged youth.
- : Successful esports players and personalities often serve as sources of inspiration for young people. They can demonstrate that with dedication and effort, it's possible to achieve success even when facing adversity.
- : Esports events and tournaments offer opportunities for networking and socializing. Disadvantaged youth can build important social skills and connect with peers and potential mentors.