In case you haven’t heard of it, we run the British Esports Student Champs, which is a national tournament for schools and colleges. The Champs are a series of competitive gaming tournaments for students aged 12+, and have fixtures in three age-appropriate team-based games are League of Legends, Overwatch and Rocket League.
In the 2020/21 season, we had 171 teams competing in spring, up from 147 in winter, with a retention rate of 82% across a total of 75 unique schools and colleges. This means over 1000 students are playing matches across the nation each week.
1. Develops leadership and team working abilities:
By getting students to work together for a common objective, they will start to develop their team working abilities. Esports and competitive gaming is a good way to develop natural social skills , as teamwork is the foundation of any multiplayer game. Additionally, the Champs allows individuals to work on their leadership skills in a team environment, which can be beneficial in a later career.
2. Improves communication and social skills:
In this increasingly digital age, one of the most important skills we need to develop is communication, and the Champs really helps to get students to refine their communication skills. Along with working as a team, players need to be able to communicate quickly and effectively to achieve their goal. By developing communication skills, other social skills can also improve. Playing competitive esports within the Champs gives individuals a fun and new platform to refine their communication and social skills which can be very beneficial for their future endeavours.
3. Brings students together:
Esports and gaming in general can bring people together that may have otherwise never interacted before. Having a friendly and competitive environment like the Champs, students can get to know one another and bond over a common interest. New friends can be made and students can get to know one another a lot more whilst doing something they all enjoy. It is also a welcome opportunity for those students who don’t fit in with traditional extra curricular clubs.
4. Can be a form of stress relief for students:
Although gaming has some negative connotations, it can actually be very good at helping people relax. As the Champs takes place as an extracurricular activity, students can use this time to sit back and let the stress of their work go to have some fun! Having something to look forward to as well really allows students to feel the relief of stress by doing something they enjoy. Its also been a great opportunity for students to compete together throughout lockdown.
5. Helps to develop key motor skills:
Each of the titles in the Champs (Overwatch, Rocket League and League of Legends) all are very good at improving key motor skills including: hand-eye coordination, reaction times and coordination. These skills are incredibly beneficial in several different aspects of life, and gaming really encourages this development. There are also numerous cognitive benefits that develop alongside, such as strategy, decision making, and information processing.
6. Links to a variety of FE, HE and career pathways:
In taking part in the Champs, students can gain a variety of skills that could help them progress through their education and beyond. The tournament allows the students to gain insight into what it takes to play in an esports tournament and the different procedures involved. Getting first-hand experience in the realm of esports can open up doors into further education, and potential careers in the industry.
Not only is the Champs good at linking to education and careers within esports, the skills developed can be applicable to almost any role! From problem solving to communication, these skills learnt through the tournament can really set students up for a wide variety of roles within other industries.
7. Links to STEAM subjects:
STEAM (Science, Technology, Electronics, Arts, Mathematics) subjects tie in directly with what students can learn throughout the Champs. Students can learn to see things through a more technical perspective, whether that be in relation to in-game strategy or learning how the computer they are playing on works. Esports and gaming is a fun way to get students engaged in these areas, and can easily be translated into different sectors. Regularly using computers to play games will further encourage development in these areas.
8. Allows friendships to blossom and expand:
As before, the Champs can really bring people together – but existing friendships can develop even more through the process. This then allows there to be a crossover between an interest with their friends outside of education, and the educational environment. Having this crossover will drive friendships both new and existing! It also offers opportunities for fierce rivalries and friendly competition between friends to expand.
9. Promotes positive mental health and wellbeing:
Gaming can be a very beneficial escape into a virtual realm, and the titles in the Champs are no exception to this. A study at the University of Oxford in 2020 established that ‘gaming (within reason) can be better for your mental health and make you happier.’ This is in fact true with a lot of gamers, and similarly to being a good stress reliever, gaming can allow students to lift weight off of their shoulders.
10. IT’S FUN!
It’s extremely rewarding for those involved, and we have seen year on year growth as schools and colleges learn about these benefits for students. After all these great reasons, you might forget one of the purest and most simple reasons. It’s a bit of an obvious one, but the Champs is such a unique and exciting environment, you’d be silly to miss out. Just remember to take everything in life in moderation, and you’ll learn some great skills while simultaneously having a boatload of fun!
So what are you waiting for?
Make sure to register your interest if you or your institution are keen to take part in the Champs 2021/22 season.
For more information on what you will need to be able to take part in the Champs, please read the Handbook, and further resources on our Champs page.