First “League of Girls” esports school event
On 13.11.2018 a premiere for "League of Girls" took place in the area52 in Vienna: we organized our first esports school event. The concept behind it in a nutshell: Professional female esports players introduce pupils to the topic of esports and show them what it means to turn gaming into career. Afterwards, they will play together and chat about games and game content.
Thanks to the initiative of the class teachers Julian Körner and Thomas Weichselbaumer as well as Michael Fleischhacker we were able to plan and carry out the event with the class 2C of the NMS Jochbergengasse. At 08:45 the students arrived in the area52 with great anticipation and curiosity. They were welcomed there by Marlies “Maestra” Brunnhofer, Tanja “Escape x3” Reither and the PICAPIPE team. Marlies and Tanja are players of the internationally successful League of Legends esports team “Zombie Unicorns”, sponsored by the Spanish organisation “Movistar Riders”.
During the introduction round it became already quite clear: with (very) few exceptions, all pupils in the class enjoyed playing computer games. Not surprisingly, many named "Fortnite" as their favourite game. But also several other games were mentioned - mobile, on the console or on the PC.
None of the students has ever met a professional esports player in person. So it was of course a special honour to spend the morning with the two gamers. The introductory lecture by Marlies and Tanja was also met with great interest and triggered many "aha moments". Daily training, discipline, tournaments, prize money, sponsoring, marketing... - many were not aware of what it actually means to be a professional esports player.
After the lecture, playing was on the agenda. The students could choose between four typical E-Sport Games - above all of course "League of Legends", where they could get tips from the professionals. There were also "Rocket League", "Hearthstone" and "Mario Kart" to choose from. In the end, everyone found a game where he or she had fun. The only criticism from the students: "Fortnite" was not offered.
All games were multiplayer games and could be played together or against each other. The students gladly accepted this challenge. The developments around the "League of Legends" were particularly nice to watch. Many of the students did not yet know the quite challenging game. Thanks to the support of the two esports players, however, they soon found their way around. Even a schoolgirl who had hardly played any computer games before was quickly enthusiastic about the game. After a few warm-up rounds, the students organised a tournament - girls vs. boys. In the end it was a draw.
In between, we made quick video interviews with individual female students, asked them about their gaming behaviour, their favourite games and whether they could imagine becoming a professional esports player. On the last question, all the students agreed: of course! :)
We are looking forward to coming back to area52 and hope to find ways to realize such school events for other school classes as well. There are enough reasons for this:
7 reasons for "League of Girls" esports events at schools
- Students can talk openly about their gaming preferences. Their skills and talents are valued and discussed.
- Problematic topics can also be addressed and openly discussed within an appropriate setting.
- Esports games promote a lot of competences and skills regarding teamwork, communication, competition, agility, responsiveness, strategic thinking, etc.
- Interest in gaming can also increase interest in technology and so-called PSTEM subjects.
- The professional female esports players act as role models. The students take it for granted that women are active in esports. The predominant image in the media of a male-dominated esports scene is broken up.
- Thanks to the existing variety, there is a suitable game for every student. In this way, individual interests can also be taken into account.
- An esports event offers a good change from everyday school life, promotes class community and also the relationship between students and teachers.
A big thank you at this point
...to Marlies and Tanja for their commitment to share their knowledge and skills with the students.
...to Thomas, Julian and Michael for the initiative and willingness to bring esports and school together.
...to Kevin Trau for the great support in the area52.