MisterMcNeil15 karma2020-10-07 13:10:39 UTC
I actually think this gets to a misconception (or an ongoing debate) about the role of the collegiate scene compared to the rest of the amateur-pro pipeline.
The purpose of collegiate esports, according to 99.9% of the collegiate community, isn't to create top-tier players. It's to provide students who deeply care about gaming with access to the same kind of resources and opportunities that would exist for someone who plays sports. There is really no college-pro pipeline. But that may change over time... This article is really great. It basically argues that college esports could eventually provide an important period for tomorrow's pros to go through professional development - much like the role played by collegiate sports programs.
I don't really understand why an esports player would be less deserving of a scholarship than anyone else. Esports athletes are often great students who are deeply involved in their courses... Esports can just be a positive way to channel an existing passion/skill.
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MisterMcNeil8 karma2020-10-07 13:37:28 UTC
All of the above. Something I've learned since I started working with schools is that a TON of programs on campus exist because they engage students, which increases enrollment year-to-year (retention). Esports is definitely a genre of program that exists to engage students who might not otherwise have a "home" on campus. There are revenue implications for this, but it's also part of what it means to create a welcoming school community.
There are certainly publicity factors as well. I think a lot of early-adopters experienced an outsized interest which led to a huge enrollment rush. In terms of actual $ earned from ticket sales, etc., esports doesn't leave a mark. But if you're a small liberal arts college with a $32k sticker price and you're able to attract three players per year BECAUSE of your esports team? Well that's almost $400k in four-year tuition revenue from just the first cohort of players.
So, yeah, revenue is a big part but so is inclusivity and just creating something that students love! :)
MisterMcNeil5 karma2020-10-07 17:49:20 UTC
Yeah brother. Same here. My partner and I talk about that all the time.
We do see some involvement, but it kind of depends on the institution. There's obviously some sampling bias there.... Like the population on non-traditional students at liberal arts colleges tends to be pretty small.
BUT: the NJCAAE is one of our partners and a league of schools composed only of two-year schools. Check them out: https://generationesports.com/njcaae
Adults can definitely hang, especially at collegiate levels. You should poke around on our site and see if you can find a school near you, if you're interested. We're going to be adding a bunch of two-year schools this month so keep a heads up for that.
MisterMcNeil4 karma2020-10-07 17:22:38 UTC
No you're good I totally get it. To be honest, I think sports in US institutions have a very functional role in attracting tuition-paying students. So scholarships often aren't a question of who deserves it v who doesn't, but a way to invite a more diverse pool of students to apply and enroll. Think of it as an incentive that has the potential to bring in a new source of students to campus.
Scholarships are, sadly, extremely actuarial. No less true in esports.
MisterMcNeil4 karma2020-10-07 12:52:46 UTC
It depends on whether you're talking student popularity or community popularity.
The most popular title to students is... Drumroll... Super Smash Brothers (Ultimate, but Melee is up there, too). It was really wild to discover this. Part of what we've done is worked with a ton of schools to survey their students about game choice (among other things). We definitely expected League or Fortnite or even OW to be top... But nope, it's SSB every time. And not by just a little bit - sometimes by 2x or 3x the next-most-popular title.
If you're looking at the title most popularly played by college teams, it's definitely League. There are by far the most League teams.
As far as proficiency goes, a student should only need to be really skilled in one title in order to earn a slot at a program. You have the best chance of being recruited if you're in the 1% for a single title, so focus on that! :)
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