High School Esports has become an important tool to inspire and attract students. Many schools have started to embrace this fact and have their own teams and practice facilities.
With more young people staying at home in 2018 than ever before. And the popularity of esports and gaming is only growing. Finding ways to engage with the students interests are crucial to keep their attention.
It appears even the education system is picking up on the esports trend. High School Esports can become a major reason when establishing a unique selling point for high schools.
The current programs often do not make any difference between the games under the esports umbrella. While many of the aspects for different games are the same, different genres and mechanics require different skill sets.
Norway and Sweden lead the development of integrating gaming and esports into the curriculum.
New Zealand and North America is the home of booming high school esports leagues for students to participate in. Even Great Britain has launched a centralized initiative to embrace young students interest in competitive gaming.
We do believe that in the future education is being divided between games, or at least genres of games.
Education often focus on the game play itself, with seasoned players as tutors, or coaches during class. Many schools however are also starting to merge other aspects of athletics such as physical as well as psychological areas.
Probably the most common game for high schools to pick up is League of Legends. Since the game has a well established competitive scene, along with the biggest player base of any esports title today.
The game is also easy enough in regards of accessibility, and we can suspect many schools appreciate the mild violence in the game. Interestingly most high school students are still young, and some titles hold a higher age limit
Riot Games has an education initiative in place to engage high schools and students within sportsmanship and teamwork.
Even though the program is outside of the schools weekly schedule, ambitious student may get guidance from teachers available at the school. This space is promoting self assessment and personal growth with help from extensive teaching materials.
The British Esports Championships is an esports tournament initiated by the British Esports Association. Currently they have started a four-part pilot program within League of Legends, Overwatch and Project CARS 2.
Students between the age 12 and 19 may take part in the tournament, set up to promote, inspire and improve esports in Great Britain.
The Championships is set to launch at full capacity in September 2018, with the grand finals being played in 2019. The finals is set to be played in front of a large crowd at the largest gaming festival in the UK, Insomnia.
High School Esports League began their initiative in the fall of 2017, and the organization has grown rapidly ever since. They offer a paid partnership deal with high schools, to let students engage in a variety of esports programs.
This partnership includes perks like premium tournaments with a chance to win esports scholarships. Other prices include sponsored LAN parties and streaming opportunities through the Twitch Student program.
The High School Esports League operate tournaments within the esports titles League of Legends, Hearthstone, Rocket League, CS:GO, Overwatch, Smite, CoD, Injustice 2, Rainbow 6 Siege and Paladins.
The conclusion is that this is one of the broadest playing fields within High School Esports.
EGFH is a High School league run by Electronic Gaming Federation. They are working with Connecticut Esports. Registration for the Spring 2018 season is opening soon, and you may already apply with your school to be included with the EGF.
Membership with the EGF gives access to resources of different kinds to engage education within the established learning environment. The League is now operating in League of Legends and Overwatch, as part of their founding agreement with Connecticut Esports (cte).
High School Starleague is
The long-term goal of the HSStarleague is to get schools even more involved, and to allow for esports within the curriculum. The staff consists of students from all over the country, sharing a common goal.
They are always expanding to meet the growing requirements from the swiftly growing numbers of esports enthusiasts now in high school. High School Starleague provide leagues and tournaments within League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Osu!, Dota 2, CS:GO, Smite and Paladins.
The most common way for High Schools to engage with the esports community is through various local, and global esports leagues. These leagues are usually limited to a specific country, however. Players get the opportunity to challenge other schools to see who has improved the most over the semester.
High School League (HSL) is a free national esports competition for student across all of New Zealand. Each year the best teams get flown to the capital Auckland for grand finals in front of thousand of fellow students.
We have found more than 10 schools that offers esports education. The high school esports education is usually available as an add-on to either the athletics, or technological curriculum.
These optional courses are sometimes added outside of the regular schedule, and students are required to follow along with the rest of their classmates to stay in the team.
Game they focus on are Dota 2, LoL, CS:GO and SC2. 5 hours of scheduled esports education each week. Computers will also be accessible outside of ordinary school hours. The school team travels around the country to attend various tournaments.
In the northern parts of Sweden, in a town called Sundsvall we find the first of our esports high schools. The school is currently offering practice in League of Legends and Hearthstone.
Education involves strategy and gameplay practice. Streaming, esports events and tournament administration. All practice takes place in what the school calls the eVision, a room setup specifically for the students. Built from the ground up with esports in mind.
Esports is part of the athletics offering at the school, and is chosen as well as the standard curriculum. The school is taking advantage of their knowledge other sports, where professional athletes lead the physical training.
This is also true for strategy education, where students will learn how to apply knowledge from established sports and how to apply it to esports. The last part is the gameplay itself, and students have the opportunity to play a variety of games over a lot of platforms.
The esports education is part of the athletics profile of the school. Because of this there is also a lot of focus on both mental and physical health during studies. The school offers esports activities two times per week, and students may choose their own gaming gear for performing at their highest potential.
Next up is a high school in the deep forests of Sweden. Esports is part of their Power and Energy curriculum on Fria Läroverken Karlstad. Here students have the opportunity to practice esports one afternoon each week.
Studies include mental as well as physical training, along with gameplay and tactical research. There is not too much information available on what games the school is focusing on.
The next high-school on our list is based in Norrköping in Sweden. The esports education is part of the athletics program at the school and the training takes place in the schools practice facilities.
The education is part of the national curriculum where students may choose various other courses based around esports. Some of the education on esports is outside of the required curriculum, and is part of an extended program.
The school offers courses in physical strength, ergonomics, strategy, tactics, ethics, health and nutrition. It is also important that students can keep up with the required courses as well. No specified games that we could find on the homepage.
In the southern parts of Sweden we’ll find the next esports high school on the list. Teknikum in Växjö has a brand new esports program available for students beginning in fall 2017.
The esports profile is part of the Power and Energy program and technology program, and is categorized as part of the athletics education. The school is proud to call their esports curriculum part of an elite training education. The curriculum is set up in cooperation with Svenska E-sportföringen.
Some parts of the esports courses are outside of the regular schedule, and the school is very serious about the importance of the other parts of the education as well. And finally the school is focusing on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and League of Legends.
The school is focusing on the 3 primary areas: mental, physical and gameplay. They have also put a lot of effort into developing a scientific approach to educate the futures digital athletes.
For now the game of choice is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and no other game. This is because the school wants to focus on specific goals and support the students in the best potential way.
Esports education is part of the Athletics Profile at the Power and Energy Program at Grillska Gymnasiet. Practice is scheduled 2 times each week, and it’s always lead by seasoned instructors.
The esports education is part of the Athletics Program at Arlandagymnasiet. Part of the profile is outside of regular requirements, and is part of an extended program.
The school offers 3 scheduled classes each week. Outside of the scheduled slots, students are able to practice on their own time between 08:00 and 09:30 every day. There are no specified games in the curriculum.
We find it intriguing to see more and more high schools picking up esports. Now that the first pioneers have tried the concept for a few years we are interested to see who sticks with the concept.