Esports, or electronic sports, refers to competitive video gaming in which players compete against each other individually or as part of a team. Esports competitions can take place online or in-person, and can involve a wide variety of games, including Rocket League, which is played by student-athletes at ODA.
Esports has been a cornerstone of technology development over the past twenty years, driving the advancement of high-performance hardware, software development, and internet infrastructure. We are excited to be able to offer our students the opportunity to develop their interest in STEM and associated fields in computer science by participating in a cutting-edge team sport. As a component of our STEM Program at ODA, Esports offers many benefits to our students:
Develops teamwork and communication skills: Esports is a team-based activity that requires players to work together to achieve a common goal. Players must communicate effectively with each other, coordinate strategies, and work together to overcome challenges. These skills are transferable to many areas of life, including school projects, group assignments, and future careers.
Fosters critical thinking and problem-solving skills: Esports requires players to analyze information, make quick decisions, and adapt to changing circumstances. These skills are essential in today's fast-paced and constantly evolving world, and can help students become better thinkers and problem-solvers.
Provides a sense of belonging and community: Esports can help students feel connected to their peers and school community. It provides a platform for students to socialize, make friends, and bond over a shared interest.
Encourages interest in technology and engineering: Esports involves a deep understanding of the technical aspects of games, including programming, networking, and hardware components. This can help foster interest in technology and engineering, which can lead to future careers in STEM fields.
Develops digital literacy: Esports requires players to be proficient with technology and digital tools. By participating in esports, students can develop their digital literacy skills, which are essential in today's technology-driven world.
Provides opportunities for scholarships and careers: Esports is a rapidly growing industry, and there are increasing opportunities for students to earn scholarships and pursue careers in esports-related fields such as game development, event management, and marketing.
“It has been incredibly rewarding to help create the ODA Esports program alongside Ms. Sassetti and Ms. Dixon, and to lead our first Upper School Team,” said Esports coach and ODA IT Support Specialist Mr. Brandon Tyler. “In our time together I have seen students’ technical skills, communication, and teamwork grow at an amazing pace. My goal as a coach is to foster positive gameplay, team culture, and resilience. I am incredibly proud of our players' progress towards these goals and can't wait to see where we go from here.”
Overall, Esports can provide a fun and engaging way for Middle and Upper School students to develop valuable skills, build community, and explore potential career paths within the world of STEM. To learn more about ODA’s Esports teams, please contact Ms. Stephanie Sassetti, Esports Middle School Coach, and Ms. Caitlyn Dixon, STEM Program Coordinator for Pre-K - 12.