eSports and the changing educational landscape

Against the better judgment of scientists, doctors, and practically any logically thinking person, schools in many states already have or plan to resume in-person operations within a couple of weeks. The main argument being that the social element is critical to students’ learning and development. A quick aside, for every publicly appointed official who has endorsed such action, I’d be interested in knowing how many of their family members stand to be directly impacted when s̶h̶i̶t̶ things go south, as we all know it will. Even as more responsible systems chose to start the academic year remotely, both options have parents searching for alternatives.

In this search, there has been much talk about micro-schools and homeschool pods. As a firm believer that our archaic educational system has been long overdue for a facelift, I’m a huge fan of the learn anywhere model. But for many, the financial burden that would come with exploring alternatives, whether it be micro-schools, homeschooling, or private tutoring, isn’t feasible. Here lies my main issue with the concept. Without some sort of government intervention, which is highly unlikely, this would just effectively be another way that the more affluent could silo themselves off, creating even more inequality. But you already knew that. So this brings about a question:

How can we make homeschooling / micro-schools more equitable and accessible to the public school communities most at risk of widening educational disparities?

An optimal solution would be that schools themselves are provided with the funding necessary to adapt, with students’ best interests in mind. Won’t spend much time here because without a lot of dominos falling way above my pay grade, this is highly unlikely. But enough about what’s improbable, let’s talk viable solutions.

As the concept of these learn anywhere models continue to rapidly gain steam, I believe that there’s room for eSports to play a pivotal role in a changing educational landscape. Whoever can successfully put the pieces together for an eSports partnership/integration has the potential to win, big.



Gaming, as an industry already has extremely high visibility amongst the school-aged market, specifically middle and high school. It only makes sense for companies to begin a tactical, strategy-driven approach towards engaging them in new, creative ways. I envision the creation of platforms and partnerships, specifically catered to this age group, to begin building talent pipelines to develop future pro eAthletes as well as industry professionals. Similar to the developmental pipelines we see with major sports leagues. Furthermore, students can be empowered with the necessary knowledge and tools to build their brands and begin realizing early earning potential.


Organized gaming already has a strong social element, which is one of the major talking points for those in favor of reopening schools amidst a f̶u̶c̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ pandemic. Integrating this element into virtual learning models can help students build friendships and community outside of just the other kids within their pod or micro-school unit. Gamers already use various tools to build these communities themselves, there’s a clear advantage that comes with leaning into that and owning those platforms. Going even deeper by adding gamified elements to the core curriculum can help students build skills in collaboration, teamwork, and critical thinking. Who knows, they could even be for eSports what IMG Academy is for the pros.


In 2018, roughly $700MM was generated by eSports’ advertising, sponsorship and media rights. An increase of 23%, 53%, and 72%, respectively. Now that many brands have chosen to cut their social marketing budgets, the incoming influx of ad dollars to gaming stands to eclipse these percentages greatly.

This, to me, is the biggest piece to the puzzle, and what gives viability to this entire concept. As brands look to meet their market where they are, those dollars could single-handily support both verticals of platform operations. Thus allowing students from public school districts, whether eAthletes or not, access to the educational component for free. This obviously isn't a solution that would serve the entirety of the public school system, but it could offer equitable access to a large number of those desperately searching for options.

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