Changing lives through eSports

The rise of eSports

Esports are booming. The numbers of people watching live gaming streams has gone from thousands into the millions. In 2019, the League of Legends World Championship had more than 100 million viewers.

The gap between traditional sports and eSports is starting to close, but despite this a lot of people are still sceptical about it. At Street League, we have seen a rise in the number of young people who use gaming to socialise. During the pandemic numbers rocketed, with more people gaming than ever before. Opinium, an independent research company, found that the gaming population in the UK increased by 63% during lockdown.

In a recent survey conducted by Street League about Life in Lockdown, we asked young people about what helped them the most when they were struggling during the pandemic. Out of 135 responses, 20 (15%) of young people said gaming with their friends. This was more popular than listening to music (11% - 15) or watching television, films or doing other hobbies.

Exploring its potential

In February 2021, in collaboration with LDN UTD and a selection of Twitch streamers, we ran our first Gamechangers week where we reached new audiences through Twitch streaming.

One of our streamers we engaged with in February was Cory, who is part of eSports team SAF. This led to the latest event on 5th May, where Street League will be featured as part of a FIFA stream and giveaway session. This will help us to again reach out to more young people and help to share Street League to a new audience.

As a youth employability charity, it’s important that we stay up to date and recognise the importance of the growing impact of eSports on young people. Thanks to our ongoing collaborations with LDN UTD, streamers like Cory and eSports team SAF, we are able to explore the potential that eSports have to offer.

Bringing eSports back to grassroots and into work

Through playing sport, whether eSports or on a pitch, people learn skills which translate into the world of work. These range from perseverance and communication to teamwork.

At Street League we also want to encourage people who want to try their FIFA skills on a local football pitch.

If you want to explore options to move into work, training or education or just have a kick about at a local pitch, you can find out more here:

https://www.streetleague.co.uk/our-activity/where-we-work/

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