Thanks to the digital revolution that has pervaded every aspect of our lives over the last two decades, the school leavers of today face a world that is almost unrecognisable from the tail end of the 20th Century. It’s beholden on us at Medhurst, therefore, to support schools and colleges in their attempts to reflect the realities of our rapidly evolving world.
With this in mind – and wishing to add additional social value to our managed services clients – we held our first Esports tournament at Lampton School in London at the beginning of July. This was no arbitrary choice. The Esports industry – electronic sports played via video games – is a burgeoning market. The sector is currently worth $1.44 billion and is set to reach $5.48 billion by 2029.
Powered by HP and Hyper X
Thanks to support from HP and Hyper X – who provided HP Omen gaming PCs, HP monitors and Hyper X gaming controllers, keyboards and headsets – plus consultation with an educational technical expert, we were ready to unveil our inaugural event.
The tournament itself comprised of 64 Year 9 Lampton Everyone’s A Winner At Our Esports Day pupils, divided into teams of four, playing the popular video game, Rocket League – a high-powered hybrid of football and vehicular mayhem. After a group stage in the morning, the tournament took on a World Cupstyle knockout format in the afternoon, with quarterfinals, semi-finals and, eventually, the final.
A roaring success
Reflecting upon the day, Paul Crossman, Head of Computing at Lampton School, described the event as “a roaring success”, adding they would be looking to hold more tournaments in the future.
“This is the first time that I’ve run a competitive Esports event at a school level,” he said. “We’ve offered gaming events before as a form group reward, but that was run in computing rooms and never with the level of equipment and expertise provided by Medhurst at this event!”
“The overall feedback has been really positive,” he added. “The students who were there loved it and it created a real buzz amongst students who weren’t. I keep being asked when the next one will be. Staff that popped in to check it out were overall impressed with many saying they were pleased that we had something like this up and running.”
Collaboration, cooperation and communication
Alongside the fact that Esports is now a multibilliondollar industry, there are other compelling reasons why Medhurst has focused on these events. Medhurst’s Al Furye, pointed out that Esports are inclusive, allowing students of different backgrounds, abilities and identities to participate and enjoying gaming together.
He commented: “Esports help students improve their individual skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication. It fosters collaboration, cooperation, and friendship among students who share a common interest and goal. Finally, it offers schools a new way of connecting with students and providing them with a fun and rewarding learning experience.”
According to Mr Crossman children partaking accessed the same emotions that playing other sports provides. “A sense of being a part of something, sportsmanship, grit, resilience and a whole lot of fun too,” he said.
Moreover, it can facilitate learning in the classroom and offer other real-life opportunities too: “If Esports is approached in the same way as other sports then I feel that it has the potential to offer similar learning opportunities, including commitment, sports psychology and strategy, training and personal development,” he added. “From a computing perspective it fosters digital literacy and IT skills (two of the three ‘strands’ of Computer Science) with lots of opportunity to link it to topics like Computer Systems, networking and the Internet, hardware and software, amongst others.”
Our commitment to STEM
At Medhurst we’re constantly striving to go further for our clients. This event and our commitment to STEM education ably demonstrates that. By the end of the year, we’re looking to recruit 25 STEM ambassadors who will each donate a day’s service to a school, amounting to a minimum of 25 events next year.
For more information about purchasing or renting our Esports gaming kits please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.