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Opinion: The Power of Esports: Beyond Gaming to Personal Growth

By Anita Kiraly, Communications Officer, ISCA and Dirk Tuip, Founder at H20

The benefits of esports extend far beyond the screen. From inspiration to community building and personal growth, esports emerges as a powerful catalyst for positive change. We asked Dirk Tuip, founder of H20 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, of his opinion about the benefits of esports and its power in building communities and developing skills. 

The incredible world of esports is not just about gaming; it's a journey that goes beyond the virtual realm. The essence of this transformative journey lies in inspiration, community, and paving the way of personal development. Think back to your childhood heroes – maybe it was a sports star. Everybody has his or her hero. When I was young, I had handball players who I really looked up to and wanted to see play every week. That was my example not only in sports, but also in other areas in life. I think you see a lot of fans that have that same idea. They connect with the team. They want to watch them play. Esports mirrors that same inspiration, connecting fans to their gaming idols. But if you look at top sport events, that's also what you see in esports. It's not just about watching a game; it's about feeling its amazing atmosphere. So top sport inspires, and gives a lot of social connection and interaction, you really become a part of a community.

But the journey doesn't stop at inspiration. Engaging in esports means more than just being a gamer – you come into motion because you are highly motivated, you have ownership over your own development and then you want to improve every day. In the end, I think that's about it. Sure, you want to up your gaming skills, but it goes beyond that. You want to progress not only as an esports athlete or as a gamer, but also as a human being.

In a world where gaming is a big part of our lives, it's easy to overlook the importance of social skills. Esports, however, becomes a platform for learning valuable life and tech skills, sportsmanship, and the art of receiving constructive feedback, because youngsters really have difficulties today with social skills because they game a lot. 

Imagine physical locations buzzing with trainers, coaches, and a supportive community. It's the perfect setup to bridge the gap and help tackle social challenges head-on.

Beyond the screen, into the future

To me, esports is more of a gather word for the future of sports, a fusion of electronic and tech-driven excitement, forming what I like to call techno sports. It's not only sitting behind a PC and be the best you can be in a specific game. Once we break free from this idea, by broadening our audience's perspective, will we be able to gain recognition, as an industry.

At its core, esports is about competition and being the best in a particular game. And there are quite a lot of them. A lot of games however, do not fit the esports-mold. But I think as soon as it's about competition and then being the best, then you can talk about esports. I know the real esporter will kill me, but we need to broaden to be accepted and known in the broader society.

Posted on 31/01/2024 by Anita Kiraly, Communications Officer, ISCA and Dirk Tuip, Founder at H20


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