Where Esports can take you
The Financial Times might not seem an obvious choice of reading material for an Esports learner but using a high quality resource like the FT for BTEC National units 1, 3, 10 or 16 could develop useful research skills.
This article introduces the free FT resource and uses a couple of examples which relate to Unit 1 Learning Aims A and C on the BTEC National, to illustrate where learners might benefit.
FT for Schools
The Financial Times offers a free digital subscription to schools and colleges around the world who have students aged 16-19. This allows teachers to access and use articles, charts, data and video in their teaching and learning and allows learners the chance to broaden their reading and knowledge.
The first step is for a teacher or administrator to complete the simple registration form to get access.
On the registration page teachers can check whether their school is already registered and if so, request a link directly allowing them to create individual accounts.
Once registered, students and teachers can create individual accounts so they can read online at home and on mobile, and download the FT app. They will also receive a weekly email with highlights and recommended reading.
Education pathways in HE
Esports undergraduate courses have started to appear on the curricula of about a dozen universities in the US, Asia and Europe, aimed at equipping students with specialist skills for this fast-growing subset of the media industry.
The teaching of esports is also being developed to help students interested in other careers to hone their leadership, organisation and communication skills as not everyone studying esports is looking for a career in gaming.
An FT article in July 2020 provided examples from
- EMLyon Business School, France
- Shenandoah University, Virginia, USA
- Staffordshire University, UK
Participation in Esports
An article in May 2020 predicted that Esports would eventually overtake real sports. Interest in Esports accelerated during the pandemic and the article outlined three reasons why Esports might eventually prevail.
First, the average age of a traditional sports fan continues to rise. Ageing will continue taking its toll on the number of traditional sports fans and as they pass away from old age, they are not being replaced by younger fans because these are increasingly choosing Esports over traditional sports.
Second, the same consumer preferences that led to the popularity of sports apply directly to esports. People play sports for fun and for the thrill of competition. They watch professionals to learn from them and to try to mimic their play. Parents take their children to games to spend time together. This is already happening in Esports.
Third is accessibility. Video games are a great equaliser. One’s height, race, gender, religious beliefs and sexuality do not, by and large, matter to performance. Everyone competes on an equal footing.
The article would be directly relevant to Unit 1 Learning Aim A on the BTEC National.