ESports are more than just fun and games. A successful higher education eSports program promotes camaraderie among students, supports STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and provides exposure and revenue for schools. An eSports program can be a dynamic recruiting tool for institutions and provide a safe social environment for students.

In our How to Create or Expand Your Collegiate ESports Program guide, we provide insight into facility design planning and how to assemble the right stakeholders to create a quality collegiate eSports program. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll learn.

5 ways an eSports program benefits students and schools

ESports programs have become an integral part of college life. There are hundreds of school teams, thousands of competitors, and millions of dollars in scholarships offered to players. So, it should come as no surprise that higher education leaders have realized that an eSports program can benefit both the students and institutions.

Here are five ways that students and schools benefit:

  1. Recruitment: Schools can offer business partnerships and related degrees to attract and prepare students for careers in eSports.
  2. Student engagement: Some spectators and participants wouldn’t otherwise be engaged in campus activities.
  3. Sense of community: Competitors and fans are as passionate, involved, and engaged as they are in other school sports.
  4. Social well-being: Taking part in social events is important to the college experience.
  5. Publicity: Top eSports players can attract fans, bringing both recognition and revenue to the school.

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What to consider when designing an eSports program

When building or updating an eSports program, a higher education institution should review their technology, spaces, students, and faculty and staff. Key considerations include:

  • Stakeholders: Campus stakeholders may include students, administrators, IT staff, facilities managers, marketers, athletics and wellness faculty, academic program directors, and any additional interested departments.
  • Budget: Costs vary widely, depending on the school’s size, program plans, and the kinds of games that will be played.
  • Spaces: ESports facilities typically include a lounge, arena, and broadcast area. However, some institutions create flexible eSports spaces that students can use for other purposes when not in use for gaming.
  • Technology: The quality of your AV technology has to match the level of your players. Equipment and IT infrastructure should not be an afterthought, as every second counts in a competition.

Get your collegiate eSports program up and running

For those who haven’t experienced eSports competitions, it’s hard to imagine the planning, coordination, and technology involved. Experts recommend going to a competition to gain firsthand experience of the enthusiasm and skill involved in creating a successful event.

If you’re ready to create or expand your existing higher education eSports program, we can help. Get in touch with AVI-SPL today.