In August 2020, The Generation Esports organization revealed its intentions to expand High School Esports League to Australia and New Zealand. The organization explained that the games would help boost students’ academic performance by generating a competitive education environment.
Just as constructive extracurricular activities are essential in a school setup, Esports offer a more structured competing platform that increases the range of opportunities available to students. Generation Esports has already tried this idea setting up a similar league, ANZ, in North America, and the project was a great success.
Esports is a budding industry with excellent prospects of developing globally and Australia Esports teams are already recruiting top players and making their mark in the region. Investing in high schools is a strategic move, as some of the most talented gamers fit in this age group. It also offers tremendous career prospects to young players.
An Update of Esports Tournaments
The High School Esports League Australia and New Zealand (HSELANZ) were to be held during the HSELANZ Winter tournament in the winter semester. The Esports competition was set to begin on 24th August and run for four weeks, during which players would compete in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Valorant, Clash Royale, and Fortnite. These games have network support and are multiplayer. The tournament is usually free, and the winners get a straight ticket to the summer season.
Mason Mullenioux, the organization’s CEO and co-founder, expressed confidence in the project by comparing it to the HSEL, which is the largest Esports organization for schools. He expressed satisfaction in the accomplishments of the HSEL and gave credit to the project for giving birth to the Australian and New Zealand projects.
Comparing the newly introduced high school league to the American Project, the participating students’ grade point average increased by almost one and a half mark. Class attendance also increased massively. Mason Mullenioux based his judgment upon this data and gave assurances that the organization would continue investing in the project despite the prevailing hardships.
The statement cleared all doubts especially by guardians who feared Esports for the learners would be a distracting force that would negatively impact school grades. Hugo Diegues, Generation Esports’ local representative at the Australian and New Zealand projects, said that the project would help grow the student’s interest in classroom matters rather than becoming a distraction. It would also create opportunities for students wishing to pursue careers in the industry.
The Microsoft-funded HSEL was developed by Dr. Kristy Custer and Michael Russell of the Complete High School Maize. Through the project, students can attribute learning as a fun process, thus promoting their emotional investment in education. Furthermore, students will be equipped with exceptional career-ready skills.
The program promises to support schools that will apply for the HSLE program. The program’s prices are diversified to fit different scales of operation, depending on the size of schools. However, the standard rates of $55 AU and $59 NZ will be charged for every student in each tournament. The tournaments will have matches for all students, occurring weekly.
Other benefits include annual packages that will offer more considerable gains under fixed prices. Esports will also organize free preseason tournaments to provide students with the experience and the individual schools a trial run hosting the events.
Generation Esports will go a step further to advise schools on the best packages suited to their institutional needs. One game would be selected every week and streamed through the Institution’s Esports Twitch account.
New Zealand High School League of Legends
The New Zealand League of Legends Championship for high schools kicked off on 20th May and ended on 15th August at the University of Waikato. Teams were allowed to stream their gameplay from platforms of choice, provided they followed the terms and conditions offered by the platform.
For teams to participate in the tournament, they were required to have access to five personal computers that met minimum gaming standards of running the League of Legends interface. They were also required to have a reliable internet connection. Participating teams had the freedom to either choose competitive or recreational play.
For competitive gaming, the league was split into North and South Island conferences to create room for opposing teams. Among the North and South Islands teams, the top 16, according to total percentages, would qualify for the premier knockout.
The winners automatically qualified for the regional bracket. For the finals, teams were required to make an appearance at the University of Waikato for the final round-up. The winners of the premier bracket proceeded to challenge the Australian state champions.
The latest developments in local Esports seek inclusion of Australian and New Zealand students, a strategic demographic in advancing the electronic gaming industry. These projects are already changing people’s attitudes towards Esports, and for the younger population, they now have the option to pursue gaming as a support career.
However, according to many schools, Esports is not a complete extracurricular activity as it does not involve physical exercise. Therefore, it has to be complemented with other physical exercise routines to ensure the proper development of students.