Report – eSports Tournament
- eSports are growing in popularity, with fans across all demographics.
- They allow children to engage and learn through play.
- This kind of gaming promotes analytical thinking amongst players and improves reasoning skills.
Although both online and offline competitions have been an in-home staple since the domestication of gaming technology, competitions on a professional level did not become commonplace until the late 2000s. Recently, the popularity and spectatorship of eSports has continued on an upward climb with fans across all demographics converging to watch their favourite players compete.
eSports ‘shoutcasters’ — an industry term for presenters — Ketchup (Ryan Neal) and Mustard (Jake Neal) hosted a casual, improv introduction to eSports during which delegates and volunteers alike were able to take a reprise from the hustle and bustle of the conference and go head-to-head for the title of the ‘Best Dragon Ball Fighter’s player in the HUBS Hideout between the hours of 14:00 and 15:00’ — a very prestigious accreditation, the prize for which was a shiny new ESL t-shirt and pin combination.
Throughout the competition, Ketchup and Mustard explained how the recent buzz surrounding eSports presents an opportunity for producers to leverage said momentum into convincing children to interact and engage with learning through a medium which typically evokes connotations of fun and play.
According to Mustard, playing fighting games, such as Dragon Ball Fighter, on a more competitive level can nurture analytical thought in players; as to be successful, reasoning and strategy must be in either outsmarting or overpowering opponents. Ketchup elaborated on the above, likening fighting games to online chess in that the end result is dependent on ‘split-second evaluations’.
While the eSport tournament presented more of a general overview of what gaming can look like at the level just above casual gaming, the consequent session ‘Esports — Ready to Play’ in the HUBS Common Room discussed the concept in further detail, outlining eSports current cultural position and what future opportunities such a position can offer children’s media
Written by Abrielle Newton