Hey it’s Pete Curulli here! If you ever listen to the Rush Hour you might know I’m a mad passionate purveyor of esports and video games. I’ve been playing them ever since I was a kid, and ever since I was a kid playing them I’ve always heard the same thing :
“It’s just games, stop wasting your life..”
What you might not know is that I’m part of a group of very passionate teachers here in Perth who have come together to fill a hole in high schools around the country by using video games as a medium. It’s called Flaktest, and this is my impassioned plea to you to read on and hear me out as to why students around the country are being left out just because their interests are a little different, and how you can change that.
When I was at high school, gaming was still a taboo word and the term ‘esports’ was still years off from being fully realised. The reality was (and still is) if you weren’t interested in sports, debating, or chess – there wasn’t really anything for you as an extra-curricular activity.
It’s now 2018 and esports isn’t just a term to describe competitive gaming – it’s a thriving industry that is tipped to be worth 2.6 billion dollars by 2020. The world’s largest tournaments command prize pools of $25+ million, and the biggest players in those tournaments are earning hundreds of thousands to compete in teams. Just about every US basketball team has an esports team, some have many. In Europe, soccer teams have their own FIFA players. In Asia, esports teams command more revenue and audience than any other sport. In Australia, esports is starting to emerge as a future entertainment prospect now that our technology is starting to catch up, with investment coming from the Adelaide Crows who purchased Legacy esports in 2017, and also helped broker the deal for Essendon FC to acquire Abyss esports.
Dota 2’s Annual Championship Event – The International packs out stadiums around the world
But esports isn’t just about playing the game, it’s about what you learn along the way.
To be a successful esports team you need a great crew and sharp skills including leadership, strategic analysis, marketing and management, you need a coach, subs, great organisational skills, and contrary to popular belief – you need to be fit, of mind and of body as some games can last up to an hour, and you need to be alert with your critical thinking, making snap decisions for that whole time.
Then there’s the scene itself, sponsorship agreements, contract negotiation, laws and legal, putting together world class events, trouble-shooting issues with technology and networks, producing and airing a broadcast, live match commentary – there is so much to esports and video games that people just don’t know about. It’s a legitimate professional pathway for a student whose interests lie in the field.
This is the part of esports and playing video games that we’re reaching for at Flaktest for those high school kids who for too long have been cast aside as a result of their natural passion for esports, gaming, and technology. These students have a bright future, and there’s a huge opportunity for highschools to re-engage these kids in their schooling through their passion for these fields – we already have a number of schools around the country who have signed up, and it all starts with building an esports club at your school, a place for a community of like-minded students to come together!
If you’re still not convinced, I invite you to do just one thing, put the word out at your high school asking your students if they’re interested in esports – I guarantee you the response will blow your mind. The missing link so far has been how to turn that passion into a positive for education, and we’re solving that problem.
Season 2018 starts soon, registrations close Friday March 30, and if you’re a teacher who is interested, we invite you to download an information pack and then email either myself at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com