Last month we looked at how to set up an esports society in your school, college or university. But what do you do once it’s up and running? How can you make it go from strength to strength and grow your member numbers?
Sam Hine, co-founder of Warwick Esports, the esports union of the University of Warwick, offers his top tips in this guest article.
1. Make friends within the NUEL and NSE
Staff within NSE and the NUEL are there to make running your society as easy as possible. Use all the resources they provide to their full extent, such as support for events, advice channels and career support.
Getting to know the lovely people that are part of these organisations makes communication easier – and exposing your strengths may mean you’re chosen for staff positions within these organisations, or to help out internally.
2. Keep active on socials
Update your social media regularly with game results, interact with players and post about events. This helps when it comes to bargaining with sponsors or your students’ union.
Showing off your events and results to the wider world not only means will more people know about your society, but it also gives you analytics to prove people care about who you are and what you’re doing.
Keeping your society closed off to only your university, rather than interacting with the scene as a whole, does nothing to convince your students’ union (who may be focused on recruitment) or sponsors (who may be mainly focused on reach) to help you.
Twitch as well as Twitter is also included in this. The NUEL’s Twitch Student offering presents many benefits for student streamers as individuals, as well as the society as whole.
3. Scout coaches for your main teams
It is well known that all professional esports teams also have coaches to help guide the players, in terms of direction and areas of improvement. As well as performing better within the leagues – which you should be participating in as much as possible – you also give opportunities for coaches to get experience in a relatively non-high stakes environment.
4. Find members
You’ll want to find active and dedicated society members and encourage them to apply for a committee position next year.
All the hard work you put into a society becomes moot if your legacy is not continued. If you notice a particularly keen or involved member of the society (who attends most events, is interested in helping out even as a non-committee member for example), then it’s your responsibility to encourage them to apply to take your place.
You should also train whoever takes your position to help them be as effective as possible for the society.
5. Make sure your students’ union understands your success
One of NSE’s main aims upon their fruition was to talk more directly to students’ unions about esports societies, and the benefits they can provide students, as well as the wider community.
The first step is talking directly with NSE about how you can do this. They have a lot of experience in communicating with people outside of gaming culture, and explaining how your success can help translate into their success.
6. Have a recruitment plan for tournament participation
The difference in tournament enrollment numbers (for example in NSE and NUEL competitions) is mainly dependent on how a society markets itself to the student population.
Many people have a misconception that they may not be ‘good enough’ to compete, so they do not interact with the society or participate in tournaments. It is up to you to make sure your student population is aware that these opportunities exist for them, and that it is a great place to meet like-minded people.
Sam Hine is co-founder of Warwick Esports