Support for Esports Is on the Rise
The recent surge in the popularity of esports and online gaming can, in part, be attributed to the pandemic and society’s subsequent digital shift. However, increased coverage by ESPN and the growing number of celebrity streamers has also boosted interest in esports. Fortnite hosted a virtual concert by DJ Marshmello in 2018, attracting millions of fans.
Many esports athletes are drawn to the competition by lucrative tournaments, in which the victors can win millions of dollars in prize money. School esports tournaments present scholarship opportunities, such as those offered by Intel Inspires.
With all of this attention, ad revenue for esports grew to $196 million in 2020 and is expected to surpass $1.5 billion by 2023. The growing market creates more opportunities for student athletes and opens the door for nonathletes to develop skills in areas such as event planning, team management, marketing and media. Introducing esports to younger students increases their competitive edge in all the related industries.
Esports Teaches Players to Cope with Stress
Esports and online gaming have been correlated to many positive mental health outcomes. Among these, new studies have found an increased ability in student athletes to deal with stress.
The Queensland University of Technology study, published in April 2020, found that “esports athletes appear to appraise stressors as both a threat and challenge at the same time.” Reframing stressors as a challenge adds the perspective that they can be overcome.
“When playing ranked or competitive play,” the study continued, “many factors