Getting Started with Esports
Tips for launching a competitive gaming program at your school to engage students.
Esports can be a great way to encourage a competitive spirit, foster skills like sportsmanship, strategic thinking, and leadership, and provide a way to get involved for students who may be less inclined to participate in traditional sports. If you’re considering sponsoring or launching an esports program at your school, we’ve got some tips to help you get started.
Start Small - Don’t overwhelm yourself! Start with 1-3 games you want to build the community around and start to identify your best and most dedicated players. You will want to avoid games with a mature rating - at the high school level some popular games include Super Smash Bros., Rocket League, and League of Legends.
Find a League - Search for existing eligible esports leagues that include the games your students are playing. Each league will likely have a relatively small fee to participate, so be ready to talk with your school administration about sponsoring the league or hosting a fundraiser.
Secure Sponsors and Community Partners - Reach out to local businesses with offers to promote their business with logo placement on all streams, jerseys, and other areas like your organization’s LAN center or “Arena” in exchange for funding or donations.
Foster Team Dynamics - Players will come and go, personalities will conflict, and students may have difficult decisions to make along the way. In order to help with this, it’s important to keep faculty advisors involved and, if possible, assign team captains to give students the chance to lead their peers.
Not Just Competition - Not all students who are interested in gaming want to play on a competitive level. You can also host monthly club meet-ups where casual players can join the community for friendly game nights without the pressure of competitive ranking.
Starting an esports team or club at your school can provide students with new opportunities to get involved and connect with peers who share similar interests. For more on getting started in esports, check out these resources: