BC School Sports (BCSS), the governing body for school sport in Vancouver, British Columbia, has announced a partnership with GameSeta Esports Inc to bolster Canadian esports in schools.
GameSeta is an online gaming provider which facilitates competition, player development and talent discovery for young Canadians. The company will work directly with BCSS to establish greater esports infrastructure in Canadian high schools, beginning this autumn. This will initially be introduced across BCSS member schools.
An initial trial competition between schools will take place on the GameSeta online platform, with games being streamed live on Twitch.
On the partnership, Tawanda Masawi, CEO and Co-Founder of GameSeta, said: “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic schools are looking to provide participation opportunities for high-school students, and esports is a great option. Our value proposition continues to strengthen during [the COVID-19 pandemic], which explains our oversubscribed waitlist from schools across provinces in Canada.”
Jordan Abney, BCSS Executive Director, noted: “We are thrilled to partner with a BC-based company in GameSeta. Esports is a new frontier for BCSS but credit to our Board of Directors who felt it was important to explore every option on how to engage students with their school. There is a mountain of evidence to suggest good things happen to youth when there is a sense of belonging, responsibility and community in their school. If we can bring that to students who wouldn’t normally participate in school sport, then that is a great thing for our member schools.”
Nearly 200 universities in the United States and Canada offer scholarships for esports, including the University of Toronto, Ohio State University, and the University of Texas at Dallas.
Abney also highlighted BCSS’s focus on League of Legends, stating: “League of Legends is the most widely played game in the world, and our membership made it clear this was the preferred choice. We appreciate it’s a 5v5 team-based strategy game [and will] offer many of the same teaching and growth opportunities that any traditional team sport would. We know GameSeta will be a great partner and together we will offer a great experience for our students.”
Esports Insider says: In the U.S and in Canada, there is a clear path for those aiming to turn professional in sport: excel at high school; receive a scholarship to attend university; go pro. A major growth challenge in esports is, in some regions, a lack of infrastructure that serves to unearth talent. This, paired with the traditional model for sporting success in North America, makes this sort of partnership necessary for ensuring esports success in the region.