Esports is a form of sports competition using video games and involves organized, multiplayer competitions. Esports has exponentially gained popularity in recent years, ranging from amateur leagues, college leagues modeled after regular sports teams, to high-earning professional players.
Gaming is often a solitary activity, and youths who enjoy gaming are often those who are less involved in school activities. Through competitive Esports, youths can meet in person on a regular basis, in pursuit of common goals, providing a sense of belonging for those who might otherwise opt out of school activities. As a scheduled activity, Esports clubs provide opportunities for teens to form friendships, gain respect from fellow students and gain increased self-esteem. The accessibility of Esports to youth of any size, shape, gender, personality, or background has contributed to its allure and its globally engaged fan base.
- Teens who have never been to a rec center like Esports and this program gets them in the door
- Esports provides a space for teens to play collaboratively rather than alone
- Low income families can participate in Esports at rec centers
- Rec Centers can then provide an exposure to healthy habits and fitness
- Kids involved in Esports are more likely to transition into interest in STEAM fields
SDPF is partnering with Lokket, a local technology company to install WIFI in the recreation centers and provide ongoing support to develop, implement and manage the Esports program on an ongoing basis. Parks & Rec staff will work with youths to facilitate the program. Lokket will also work with stakeholders to develop the league’s website, social media channels, logos, competition formats, rules, marketing, financial systems and additional funding initiatives to support the league. San Diego Futures Foundation is helping supply the computers.
Our goal for the program is:
- Provide Esports programming at 18 Teen Centers/After School Programs.
- Teach teens how to market for tournaments to attract interest for fans, sponsors; they will measure their success.
- For year one, establish a measurement base, either a survey and/or a quantitative and qualitative survey to ascertain the numbers of teens playing Esports, their success against each other and other rec centers, and related skills to the game.