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Building Positive Relationships and Community at the New Meta Academy

As we transition to an increasingly digital world, children are presented with new challenges. Alongside learning how to interact and socialise in person, they now also need to learn how to interact and make friends online. Knowing how to introduce children to these different relationships can be difficult. However, children can make friends in the New Meta Academy, where we create a productive, semi-digital environment through guided online video game play.

The New Meta Academy offers a unique blend of gaming and education. We strongly focus on fostering social skills and creating a supportive environment for children, whether they are social butterflies or on a journey to gain confidence. By bringing your child to the New Meta Academy, you open up opportunities for them to engage in productive play while developing essential social skills through collaborative gaming experiences.

The Social Benefits of Collaborative Gaming

Video games, particularly those with multiplayer and collaborative elements, provide an excellent platform for children to develop critical skills and interact with their peers. At New Meta Academy, children participate in games that require teamwork, strategy, and communication. This collaborative nature of gaming encourages more interaction among children as they work together to achieve common goals. Whether they are coordinating strategies in Fortnite or helping each other solve code in Minecraft, children learn to communicate effectively, share ideas, and support one another.

The structured yet flexible environment of the New Meta Academy ensures that learning is both fun and meaningful. Children are engaged in their interests while also being encouraged to reflect on their interactions, understand different perspectives, and develop empathy. 

Guidance from the New Meta Academy Coaches

One of the key components of the New Meta Academy experience is the presence of certified coaches who guide how children interact with each other. These coaches are familiar with the world of gaming and are trained to foster positive social interactions and teamwork. They create an environment where children feel safe to express themselves and where cooperation is encouraged. Coaches help children understand the value of teamwork, teaching them how to work together harmoniously, give each other constructive feedback, and resolve conflicts. This guidance is crucial in helping children develop the social skills needed to thrive both in and out of the gaming world.

An Inclusive Environment for All Children

Socialising at school can be challenging for many children, especially those with Autism or ADHD, who might find it difficult to fit in. The New Meta Academy offers an inclusive environment where children can bond over a shared interest in games. This common ground provides a natural starting point for building friendships and developing social skills. Children who might struggle in traditional social settings find a sense of belonging at New Meta, where their unique interests and strengths are valued.

In this supportive environment, children with Autism or ADHD can learn at their own pace and in a way that suits their individual needs. The coaches at the New Meta Academy are trained to understand and support these children, ensuring that they feel included and empowered. By participating in group activities and collaborative games, these children can practice social interactions in a controlled and positive setting, gradually building their confidence and social abilities.

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While the digital world is eroding the social lives of some children, the New Meta Academy is combatting loneliness and isolation by merging digital hobbies with in-person collaboration. Making friends and learning productive relationships are vital parts of childhood. We can work together as a community to ensure that children still have the space, time, and support to socially thrive.

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    A Guide to Esports Careers: Where Can Gaming Take You?

    The rapidly growing esports industry offers many career opportunities beyond just playing video games professionally. From the strategic oversight of a coach or team manager to the creative demands of content creation, there are numerous paths for those passionate about gaming. 

    This article explores the diverse roles within the esports ecosystem, providing insights into the skills and dedication required for each. Careers in esports are both challenging and rewarding. Join us as we delve into the roadmaps for these exciting careers and discover what it takes to succeed in the dynamic world of esports.

    Core Esports Careers

    Professional Esports Player

    Athletes are at the core of all sports teams, and esports is no exception. Professional gamers are the best of the best, working every day to improve their performance. Engaging regularly in aim training, response time training, strategy reviews, and team practice ensures that these gamers are prepared for any in-game challenge. 

    Proper online conduct is paramount, as these players represent themselves, their teams, sponsors, and the wider gaming community. This involves maintaining a positive presence at tournaments, during live streams, and in public interactions. 

    Developing constructive relationships with teammates is another critical aspect, as team dynamics can significantly impact performance. Effective communication, mutual respect, and a collaborative spirit are essential for success in the highly competitive environment of esports. 

    Lastly, professional esports players must maintain a strong sense of passion and commitment to their game of choice. This passion drives players to continually refine their skills, stay updated with game developments, and maintain the intense practice schedules necessary to compete at the highest levels. Balancing these elements helps professional esports players achieve success and longevity in their careers.

    How do you become a professional esports player?

    Becoming a professional esports player starts with a deep passion for and dedication to a particular game. Aspiring players hone their skills through countless hours of practice and participating in online matches and community tournaments. Gaining visibility and recognition within the gaming community is crucial, often achieved through live streaming, engaging on social media, and joining amateur leagues or local competitions. 

    As their skills and reputation grow, players may get scouted by established teams or organisations, leading to opportunities to compete in larger, more prestigious tournaments. Consistent performance, a strong personal brand, and professional conduct are essential to attract sponsorships and support. Maintaining physical and mental well-being is also vital to growing and sustaining a successful career in esports. 

    Networking within the community and continuously seeking self-improvement are two of the most important contributors to an individual’s chances of reaching the professional level.

    Team Coach/Analyst

    An esports team coach plays a pivotal role in their players’ personal and professional development. They help devise strategic plans, identify strengths and weaknesses, and develop tailored programs to enhance player performance. Coaches are also often responsible for tracking and adapting to changes within the game, known as “meta changes” or “meta shifts.” 

    Some coaches specialise as an analyst, usually working alongside a primary coach. Analysts focus intensely on in-game and performance-related statistics, which are then used by the primary coach to make vital strategic decisions.

    Supporting players as a coach extends beyond game mechanics; it includes fostering a positive team environment, addressing individual needs, and providing mentorship to help players navigate the pressures of professional competition. Maintaining a high degree of professionalism is essential, as coaches set the standard for conduct, work ethic, and communication, ensuring the team operates cohesively and effectively within the broader esports ecosystem.

    How do you become a professional esports coach or analyst?

    The career progression of an esports coach often begins with experience as a player or an analyst within the gaming community, where they develop a deep understanding of game mechanics and strategies. Initially, they might take on coaching roles for amateur or semi-professional teams, gaining practical experience in training players and devising game plans. 

    Success in these roles can lead to opportunities with more prominent organisations, where they can coach professional teams in high-stakes tournaments. Successful coaches continuously work to enhance their coaching skills, building a reputation for professionalism, and developing a greater understanding of player development.

    Esports Team Manager

    An esports team manager is responsible for organising and managing team events’ logistics, including arranging travel, accommodation, and bootcamps. They handle scouting for new players, negotiating and managing contracts, and ensuring compliance with league regulations. The manager also oversees the day-to-day activities of players and coaches, coordinating practice schedules, addressing any team issues, and facilitating effective communication within the team. 

    Additionally, they may work on maintaining relationships with sponsors and partners, ensuring that the team meets its promotional obligations. This role demands strong organisational skills, attention to detail, and managing multiple tasks efficiently.

    How do you become an esports team manager?

    To become an esports team manager, gaining experience in the wider esports industry is important, whether in positions within esports teams or being involved in wider event management. Developing strong organisational and communication skills is crucial, as the role involves managing logistics, contracts, and team coordination. 

    Networking within the esports community, attending industry events, and connecting with professionals can provide valuable opportunities and insights. Additionally, gaining experience in related fields such as sports management, event planning, or human resources can be beneficial. Demonstrating a passion for esports, a deep understanding of the industry, and a proven ability to handle complex tasks efficiently will help in securing a role as an esports team manager.

    Content Creator/Streamer

    Gaming content creators within the esports industry are responsible for producing engaging and entertaining content related to video games and esports. Their roles include creating videos, live-streaming gameplay, producing tutorials, and offering commentary on esports events. 

    Content creators build and maintain a strong online presence across platforms like YouTube and Twitch, interacting with their audience to grow their fanbase. They often collaborate with esports teams, sponsors, and other influencers to promote products and events. They must stay updated on gaming trends and news, ensuring their content remains relevant and appealing. 

    Additionally, content creators must handle technical aspects of content production, such as editing videos and managing streaming equipment, to consistently deliver high-quality content.

    Photo by Joe Brady via EA

    How do you become a content creator?

    Becoming a successful gaming content creator involves a dedicated and strategic approach. The process typically begins with selecting a niche or game to focus on and consistently producing high-quality content around it. Key skills required include understanding your audience, catering to their interests and preferences, and maintaining regular engagement through interactive content and social media. 

    Aspiring creators must develop technical skills in video editing, graphic design, and live streaming. Building a network by collaborating with other creators and engaging with companies for sponsorships is also crucial. This career path involves long hours of content creation, marketing, and community management to grow and sustain a loyal audience.


    Esports casters (known in traditional sports as commentators) are responsible for narrating and analysing live esports events. Their roles include providing real-time commentary during matches, explaining game mechanics and strategies, and enhancing the viewer’s experience with their insights and enthusiasm. They must be knowledgeable about the game, its meta, and the competitive scene, while also being able to engage and entertain the audience. 

    Casters often work alongside broadcast analysts (who take a data-informed approach to post-game commentary) and broadcast hosts (who string together a broadcast, encouraging conversations between other talent and conducting interviews), ensuring a dynamic and informative broadcast. 

    How do you become an esports caster?

    The typical career progression for esports casters begins with building a presence in the esports community, often through creating content, streaming, or volunteering at smaller events. Many start by casting amateur or local tournaments, gradually gaining experience and recognition. As they hone their skills and develop a unique style, they can move on to casting larger events and leagues, often being scouted by professional organisations or broadcasters. 

    Networking and continuous self-improvement are crucial, as is staying updated on game developments. With time and consistent performance, casters can achieve prominent roles in major tournaments, and some may even transition into related fields such as analysis, hosting, or production roles within the esports industry.

    Supporting Esports Careers

    Not all esports careers are directly associated with esports teams and organisations. Event organisers, marketing specialists, PR (public relations) specialists, and journalists play crucial roles in shaping and promoting the esports scene, each offering distinct career pathways. 

    Event organisers manage the logistics, production, and overall execution of esports tournaments and events, starting often in entry-level positions like event coordinators or assistants. With experience and a proven track record, they can progress to roles such as event managers or directors, overseeing larger, more complex events. 

    Marketing and PR specialists focus on promoting esports teams, events, and brands, often beginning their careers with internships or junior roles in marketing agencies or esports organisations. Journalists often work closely with PR specialists. Most journalists start by covering esports news, writing articles, and creating multimedia content, typically in freelance or junior roles. Through consistent quality work and by building a portfolio, they can progress to senior journalist positions, editors, or even content directors, shaping the narrative and influencing public perception of the esports industry. 

    Each career requires dedication, a deep understanding of the esports landscape, and a passion for the gaming community.

    Skill Development for Esports Careers and Beyond

    Esports Academy - Media 15

    At the New Meta Academy, we provide a structured environment where children can develop essential skills for careers in esports and beyond. By encouraging social gameplay with peers, the academy fosters positive, constructive, and feedback-driven relationships, helping to build crucial interpersonal skills foundational to any successful career. 

    Children can learn the importance of teamwork, communication, and adaptability through games in a dynamic setting. Vital career skills such as professional conduct, commitment, and strategic thinking can be taught in an engaging and interactive manner, keeping crucial learning fun. 

    Whether young people aim to succeed as professional players or as esports journalists, learning through games can be a key stepping stone to future success.

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      From Sofas to Stadiums – Where Can Esports Tournaments Take You?

      For most people, video games are a hobby confined to their sofa or worn-out gaming chair. 

      However, the world of professional gaming is more than just a leisurely pastime. It’s a fiercely competitive sport that can propel you to heights you never imagined. Each year, esports tournaments transform stadiums and arenas into battlegrounds, attracting dedicated fans to watch their revered pros battle it out for prize pools that often exceed millions of dollars. 

      For the uninitiated, esports events may seem peripheral – not mainstream, but enough people are interested to make something happen. While this was once true, rising investment in esports tournaments is pushing the industry forward rapidly. Summer 2024 will see the first Esports World Cup held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, featuring 19 video game titles and over $60 million in prize money. 

      The esports industry is becoming impossible to ignore. So, what are esports events, and why are they so important? 

      What do Esports Events Look Like?

      Esports Events are incredibly diverse and often adapt to the game featured. Most take a tournament format, where teams or individuals must make it through qualifying, group, bracket, and final stages to win a trophy. Transforming arenas and stadiums, the staging of these tournaments is often high-concept, extravagant, and atmospheric to match the game played.

      Like many traditional sports, esports also has grassroots leagues and tournaments. The industry finds its roots in BYOC (bring your own computer) tournaments that first began to draw communities together in small venues. These events still take place around the world. In the UK, Epic.LAN has hosted community esports tournaments for 20 years, featuring BYOC and stage events. Many players, esports event staff, and on-broadcast talent began their careers in such events, proving their immense value to the industry.

      Who Competes in Esports Events?

      Anyone can become an esports pro if they have the skill, dedication, and passion to reach the top. Professional esports players must excel at understanding their game’s mechanics, learn to strategise under pressure, and work exceptionally well with others, especially in team-orientated games. 

      Although esports is still male-dominated, many game titles have established additional tournaments, events, and programs to provide a space for women and non-binary players. In these leagues, they climb the ranks and gain competitive experience while inspiring the next generation of diverse gamers.

      Why do people go to Esports Events?

      Although an online broadcast accompanies all major esports events, live events draw thousands of fans to sell-out stadiums to immerse themselves in the moment. However, attendees cannot see the PC screen, a perfectly coordinated broadcast switches between players, run by a team of observers and played on giant screens throughout the venue. Sound effects, vibrations, smoke, sparklers, and carefully curated lighting immerse the audience in the game, with each event tailoring its staging to its own gameplay.  

      For many, esports events and tournaments are the heart and soul of competitive gaming. Communities unite from every corner of the globe to celebrate a shared passion, often spending days at a time dedicated to a tournament from its group stage to completion. 

      Whether you are a fan, content creator, pro, staff member, journalist, game developer, or cosplayer, there is something for you.

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        Online Behaviour and In-Game Conduct: Advocating for Positive Gaming

        Video games are a platform for individual enjoyment, competition, and social interaction. Many games are built on the foundation of teamwork, where each player’s role is crucial to achieving a common goal. This makes effective, efficient, and collaborative communication not just important, but essential. 

        However, the exhilaration and tension found within competitive games can begin to blur the lines between passionate exchange and toxicity. Curbing inappropriate online behaviour and damaging in-game conduct is a mission increasingly prioritised within the gaming and esports communities, and every individual plays a significant role. 

        Concerns surrounding in-game conduct are even more critical to address when children engage in competitive play. Understandably, parents would be particularly apprehensive about allowing their children to participate in these environments. The New Meta Academy appreciates these priorities, ensuring that effective and appropriate online communication is integrated into our competitive gaming-related classes. 

        For more information about online behaviour and the journey to positive in-game conduct, read through our rundown of what is being done within the gaming and esports communities and what you can do at home to create a safer online gaming environment.

        The gaming industry’s journey towards toxicity management

        Recent movements within the game design community have acknowledged and consolidated designers’ responsibility to guide and reinforce certain online behaviours. Conferences such as the GDC (Game Developers Conference) have held regular panels to discuss these responsibilities and how best to encourage responsible in-game interactions. 

        Community management roles have also gained increasing respect and importance within the gaming industry. Community Managers are employed to interact and establish online spaces for those playing a particular game to interact, exchange knowledge, and share their passion. Alongside this, Community Managers play a crucial role in helping to continue positive in-game relations and are often at the forefront of managing player concerns. 

        All video games involving in-game communication with others also feature report options. When players notice toxic or inappropriate behaviour, they can use in-game report functions to immediately relay the problematic interaction in question, which will then be reviewed. Toxic players can either have their accounts temporarily or permanently banned from the game. 

        Advertising healthy in-game interactions in esports

        Competitive video game scenes such as Fortnite, League of Legends, and Apex Legends have also communicated publicly about the value of positive in-game interactions and behaviours. In 2023, Electronic Arts (publisher of Apex Legends and overseer of the Apex Legends Global Series) introduced their “Positive Player Award,” recognising professional gamers who’s attitude, performance, and support towards their teammates and wider community is exceptionally productive and constructive.  

        Evan “Verhulst” celebrating a win, while his teammate ImperialHal looks on in adoration

        Their first award winner, Evan “Verhulst” Verhulst, is well known within the Apex Legends community for supporting every teammate, regardless of ability, rank, or competition. Whether he is participating in Pro-Am (professional’s competing with amateurs) tournaments or the Apex Legends professional league, he focuses on clear, effective, a productive communication to uplift those around him. 

        Highlighting and rewarding players such as Verhulst helps to promote the best forms of in-game conduct, exemplifying to children and adults alike how a great attitude can help you reach the top of your game. 

        How can you help your child maintain positive in-game communication and relationships?

        Parents also play a crucial role in encouraging safe, positive interactions online. Although this may seem like a daunting task, there are simple steps you can take to help your child develop good in-game and online behaviours.  

        • Check which games have parental controls! Games such as Roblox have features such as chat restrictions and parent pins, helping manage which content and features children can access. 
        • When your child first starts playing a game, sit with them and find out where they can report inappropriate players or comments. This way, both of you know how this function works, as its placement can vary from game to game. If you are in doubt, Google is your friend! Many others will have searched for the same function. By sitting down and going through the process with them, they will feel more confident in reporting a player if they need to. 
        • Encourage play with friends! Most cooperative or multiplayer games have an option to form a team or enter a game lobby with your friends. Find out the username of a friend who your child knows, and help them to connect their accounts. Most games have an easy friend feature so they can regularly join the game together. 
        • Where possible, visit gaming arenas such as New Meta and attend programs such as the New Meta Academy. Being able to interact with other gamers in person provides a helpful reminder that we are all people behind our screens! 
        • If you can, hop into a game and learn some of the features yourself! Joining your child’s favourite game with them can be a fantastic way to encourage positive communication and connect with their passion. Fortnite, one of the most popular Battle Royale games, has relatively simple controls and is easy to learn. Why not give gaming a try? 

        Mental health charities for gamers

        If anyone is struggling with their mental health, particularly if they are uncomfortable with interactions that have happened while gaming, there are several mental health charities that are set up by and run for gamers. 

        Safe in our World is a mental health charity dedicated to providing a wide range of resources for gamers struggling with their wellbeing. Their website features information about self-advocacy, anger management, depression, anxiety, sleep help, loneliness, and more. You can also access helplines directly from their site, sorted by region. Alongside their website, Safe in our World have a podcast where they discuss mental health in video games and the wider gaming industry.

        TakeThis is a gamer-led mental health charity that partners with industry leaders, mental health professionals, and researchers to improve approaches to mental health within gaming communities. Their website features a helpline finding feature where people can find confidential advice lines in their region. Alongside this, they regularly post blog and article updates on their site with news and updated guidance relating to community mental wellbeing. 

        The Twisten Foundation was established in memory of Czech esports professional Karel “Twisten” Ašenbrener by his family after he took his own life in June 2023 after struggling with his mental health. The foundation works to improve mental health support for teenagers in gaming, raising awareness about why increased support for young people is needed and researching how to best support them.

        Knowing how to navigate an increasingly digital world can be daunting, but there are always people within the gaming community who are willing to guide you. 

        If you are concerned about you or your child’s online interactions and want more support, you can seek further guidance from the organisations above, or visit Play New Meta and speak to our staff – they will be more than happy to help! 

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          Breaking Barriers: Empowering Neurodivergent Gamers

          Video games are often considered to be a safe outlet for neurodivergent individuals to escape the pressures and stresses of everyday life, providing a form of escape to a safe environment over which they have greater control. As a result, 41% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (a common form of neurodivergence) spend most of their free time playing video games.

          This increased representation of neurodivergent individuals in the gaming world is also seen in the video game industry, where 18% of game developers in the UK identify as neurodivergent compared to 15% of the overall UK population.  

          Therefore, providing safe, positive, and supportive environments for neurodivergent gamers is vital to helping them explore the benefits of video games and the many places games can take them. At the New Meta Academy, we have been exploring how to make our space accessible for everyone, no matter what challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. 

          two people sit at gaming stations playing a video game

          What is neurodivergence, and why is it important?

          Neurodivergence refers to the natural differences in brain development and how our brains function. Diagnosed neurodivergent conditions include Autism (also known as Autistic Spectrum Disorder or ASD), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, and Dyscalculia. When considering how to make our space as accessible as possible, at the New Meta Academy we are focusing particularly on supporting individuals with ASD and ADHD, as these tend to provide the most challenges for our Academy students. 

          Understanding neurodivergence and how people experience the same environment in different ways is important. Some people may find bright lights, loud music, and potent smells disturbing, distracting, or off-putting, preventing them from enjoying and relaxing in a particular space. Identifying and acknowledging these barriers helps us to plan how to help those who may find our space at the New Meta Academy overwhelming.

          How are we increasing accessibility for neurodivergent children at the New Meta Academy?

          We spoke to Oscar from the New Meta Academy to discover how we are maintaining accessibility for neurodivergent children in the present and our plans to increase accessibility in the future. 

          So what are safe spaces, and how do they help our kids?

          Safe spaces are areas that our kids can retreat to whenever things are getting too much – if they are becoming overwhelmed or facing whatever triggers they might have. They are places where they can go to take care of themselves, with their parents if necessary too. Ultimately, it’s just a safe haven where they can go inside each of our lessons. 

          What are our passports, and how do they help us get to know our kids and their needs before they show up for their first class?

          Our passports are an intermediary between the children and the coaches. When they first arrive, during their inductions, we have a collaborative session between them, the coach, and their parents. This is so we can understand the child and their needs as best as possible. So, if they do end up feeling overwhelmed, we understand how best to deal with that. It is essentially a record to help us collaborate as best as possible with that child. In the event that we do need to bring their stress down a couple of levels, maybe because of a meltdown or a shutdown, they can go to the safe space, and we can take care of them in a way that they appreciate.  

          How do we help kids feel more familiar with the space before they arrive?

          The first and most important thing to help encourage familiarity with the space is ultimately for them and their parents to come to the New Meta Academy and have a tour themselves, right? We want you to experience our environment, whether it be the sounds or any smells, which we as staff may not notice but can be more of a trigger for others. 

          We want you to be able to experience as many of these as possible so you can let us know why this may or may not be the right place for you, and we can understand how to mitigate any concerns before the first trial session. 

          How are coaches prepared to best manage children’s individual needs? 

          First and foremost, every coach has a DBS verification. We make sure they are well equipped to deal with young people. There are also certain procedures that help us in more or less any given situation. 

          When it comes to neurodiversity training, this is something that we are very keen on doing. This is a way for us to open our eyes to things that neurotypical people may not be as sensitive to, such as certain smells or sounds that we don’t understand or realise are there until they are explained to us. It is a way for us to become more sensitive to problems or objects that may hinder our students from getting the best possible outcome for their learning. 

          What can you do if you want to access our space, but you or your child face challenges due to neurodivergence?

          The first step to ensuring we can help you and your child feel comfortable with us is to tell us how best to accommodate any particular needs you may have, particularly requirements you or your child may have due to neurodivergence. We want to work with neurodivergent individuals to ensure they can benefit from gaming and learning here just like anyone else. 

          If you plan on bringing your child to a trial class at the New Meta Academy, we allow people to disclose any support and access needs when they sign up. You are also highly encouraged to contact our Academy via email or phone so that staff members can tailor their approach to you or your child’s visit as accurately as possible to what you need. 

          We welcome guidance and feedback from anyone from any background who uses our space.

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            What is Esports? A Deep Dive into the World of Competitive Gaming

            Esports, short for electronic sports, has become a global sensation. Competitive video games have transformed from a passionate pastime to an over $1.38 billion industry. From packed stadiums to online streaming platforms, millions of fans worldwide tune in to watch professional gamers compete in various popular video game titles.

            Those who have only recently discovered the esports industry’s scope may be surprised that its history stretches far before the 2000s when competitive video games began to represent the system we see today. The first-ever video game tournament was held in the 1960s, and by 1978, the world had experienced its first international competition hosted by Atari.

            As the esports industry grew from the internet boom in the 1990s to the present digital age, it developed many of the core structures seen in traditional sports. Roles such as coach, physiotherapist, player agent, team manager, analyst, presenter, journalist, and PR agent all exist within the esports ecosystem at various professional levels.

            So, if you are new to the world of esports and want to learn more, where do you start?

            A professional esports player walks onto the stage at the Apex Legends Global Series Championship, with the Championship trophy to the right of the photo.
            Players walk onto the stage at an Apex Legends Championship. Photo by Joe Brady via Electronic Arts

            Esports building blocks – what is the esports ecosystem?

            There is a lot of diversity within esports. Many different competitive games have their ecosystems, running different styles of competitive seasons and regular tournaments. However, some fundamental building blocks to the esports ecosystem can help you understand how the industry works.


            All video games have a publisher. This is the company that publishes video games developed either internally or by a separate developer (which can be an individual, small group, or a larger company). Publishers often finance or help finance the video game development process and are responsible for distributing the game once it is published. Publishers are also often responsible for paying for any licences used by the game, advertisement, and managing the esports scene attached to competitive games.

            Publishers can also be split into three main groups:

            • AAA Game Publishers. These publishers are responsible for high-budget, tech-forward, and high-distribution video games. Competitive AAA games almost always have a corresponding esports scene.
            • Indie Game Publishers. Indie games usually focus on creativity and originality with a lower budget and more specific audience. Sometimes, indie games like Among Us or Lethal Company become viral sensations. However, indie games rarely have a corresponding esports scene.
            • Mobile Game Publishers. Mobile games are video games made specifically for smartphones or tablet devices. Games such as CandyCrush fall under this category. Some mobile games have esports scenes, such as PUBG Mobile, Mobile Legends Bang Bang, and Arena of Valor.

            Some video game publishers let external companies manage their esports scenes. For example, Counter-Strike esports is largely managed by companies like EFG, Blast, and PGL rather than the game’s publisher, Valve. However, others take a hands-on approach to their games’ esports scenes – for example, Riot Games tightly controls who runs official tournaments for their esports titles.

            Organisations and teams

            To have a competitive ecosystem, you need professional players. These gamers are talented enough to compete with the best of the best, often training every day to win even the toughest competitions.

            Most professional players are signed to an organisation. There are many esports organisations worldwide. Some focus on and invest in specific esports scenes, while other larger organisations sign teams or players across several games. Esports organisations are similar to a football or rugby team—they sign, train, and trade players, paying them a salary and providing them with the necessary equipment and support to reach their full potential.

            Examples of famous esports teams include G2, Team Vitality, TSM, T1, and Team Liquid. Some traditional sports teams and famous athletes also invest in esports. For example, footballer David Beckham, F1 driver Lando Norris, and basketball icon Michael Jordan have stakes in esports teams. On top of this, Manchester City FC, Wolves FC, and PSG FC all own esports players and teams.

            An esports player and their coach embrace after winning a game in the Apex Legends Global Series
            Players, coaches, and teams are at the heart of esports organisations. Photo by Joe Brady via Electronic Arts

            Events and tournaments

            The next fundamental building block to the world of esports is events. Esports events are the pinnacle of a game’s competitive season and are usually held in person at a LAN (Local access network event).

            Here, teams of professional esports players compete against each other in front of a live crowd. Large prize pools are often up for grabs, and the teams will progress through a tournament format. Some games, such as Fortnite, also have solo players competing against each other.

            There are several different types of tournaments and events within esports. The following are the most common:

            • Battle Royale Tournaments. Battle Royale games are where individuals or teams compete in a “lobby” (group of players or teams) to be the last standing. These games are usually shooters, where players must eliminate one another while traversing a game map. These esports tournaments often have upwards of sixty players competing on the stage.
            • MOBA Tournaments. “MOBA” stands for “Multiplayer Online Battle Arena.” In MOBA tournaments, two teams of players compete against one another on a predefined battlefield, controlling one character each and working strategically together to achieve a common goal before the opposing team. Both teams interact with one another on the battlefield, often engaging in team fights to take control of the game.
            • Tactical Shooters. These highly strategic games involve tactical planning and usually require impressively accurate aim. Teams usually have five players, and only two teams compete against one another at a time. The primary goal is to eliminate the other team while working towards an opposing goal, with one side having an aim (for example, to plant a bomb) and the other trying to stop them from succeeding (preventing a bomb from being planted or diffusing it).

            Events and tournaments are usually the thrilling conclusions of a game’s regular season (where games are played online). The regular season resembles a regular football season, whereas the offline LAN tournaments resemble a football cup’s quarterfinal, semifinal, and final stages.

            A team of professional Counter-Strike players embrace on stage at IEM Katowice 2024. You can see the stadium seats behind them.
            A team huddle during a Counter-Strike (tactical shooter) tournament in Poland. Photo via ESL

            What careers can you find within the esports industry?

            Just like traditional sports, esports offers a wide range of career options. No matter where your strengths lie, the esports industry likely has a role that would suit you!

            Many esports career paths fit within three different areas of the industry: Professional teams/organisations, tournament and event organisation, and media.

            Professional Teams/Organisations

            Potential roles:

            • Professional esports athlete
            • Coaching staff (including esports analyst)
            • Physio and Psychotherapy
            • Player management
            • Finance, budgeting, and organisation management

            Professional esports teams and organisations range in size from grassroots (smaller, more locally influential) to Tier One (larger, competing on a regional and international level). Grassroots organisations are often a great place to build experience in team roles.

            Many colleges and universities also have esports teams. Young people can compete in student leagues and tournaments such as NSE (National Student Esports) and NUEL (National University Esports League) events. Although some UK universities now offer esports degrees, it is also possible to gain esports-related experience while also studying mainstream subjects.

            Tournament and Event Organisation

            Potential roles:

            • Event/project management and event direction
            • Technical director/producer
            • Videographer
            • Audio Engineer
            • Lighting design/operation
            • Observer (directing which players are shown on broadcast)
            • Digital broadcasting
            • Stage host/interviewer
            • Casting (esports commentary)
            • Tournament admin/referee

            Esports events complete the competitive calendar, where teams battle on stage to win a coveted title. Whether an event is a BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) tournament or a packed stadium, an extensive team collaborates to bring the magic alive. From audio and lighting to broadcasts and being on screen, an incredible variety of work is involved in setting the stage for players.

            An Apex Legends esports professional makes a heart gesture towards a packed crowd.
            An esports player makes a heart gesture to their fans in the crowd. Image by Joe Brady via Electronic Arts


            Potential roles:

            • Social media management
            • Content creation
            • Journalism
            • Public relations
            • Marketing

            Gaming and esports-based media has rapidly become an industry within its own right. YouTube, Twitch, and other social media platforms have led to the rise of gaming influencers like PewDiePie, Markiplier, and Ninja. The growth of esports events has also led to the founding of esports and gaming-specific news outlets such as Dot Esports, Esports.gg, and Dexerto. Alongside media influencers and outlets, Public Relations agencies will often specialise in the esports and gaming industries, assisting with events marketing, organising content creation across organisations, and arranging player interviews with media outlets.

            Why should you pay attention to the esports industry?

            The universal appeal of gaming makes both the current size and potential future of esports astronomically significant. Over hundreds of years, we witnessed the progression of sports pastimes, which inevitably led to competition to find the best, most skilled, and most accomplished athletes. Now, we are seeing a condensed, fast, and exciting progression in gaming, accelerated by how easy it is to connect talented gamers from around the world digitally.

            In an increasingly online world, esports is also at the forefront of digital culture. How many pop culture phenomena have stemmed from video games? The answer is too many to count. Even some of our most popular TV series in recent years, such as The Last of Us, found their origins in video games.

            Who knows where the world of gaming and esports will take you? It is a fresh, new industry with so much to explore. Why not start your journey with us at the New Meta Academy.

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              From Screen Time to Skill Time: An Introduction to Esports and Child Development

              Can esports positively impact your child’s development? Despite the widespread negativity directed towards gaming in the mainstream media, studies prove that esports can absolutely be beneficial to developing positive behaviours in children. In fact, a 2013 BBC article extensively reported on the benefits of video games, relaying the results of several scientific studies that demonstrated positive cause-and-effect relationships between video games and key cognitive functions, abilities, and skills.  

              Video games require a vast range of cognitive skills. Team-orientated games such as Fortnite, League of Legends, Dota 2, and Apex Legends also require a high degree of communication. Through competitive video games, your kids can actively work on developing these skills with their friends in a comfortable, engaging, and competitive environment. 

              What skills can your child build through esports coaching?

              Cognitive Skills

              Video games regularly pose cognitive challenges. For example, a game like League of Legends or Dota 2 requires you to strategise throughout the game, choosing certain items or abilities to collect depending on your strategic approach. On the other hand, a first-person shooter game (FPS) such as Fortnite often requires quick and confident decision-making under pressure. 

              Additionally, all games require a degree of problem-solving. For example, gamers must decide where to land on a map to gain the best advantage, which strategy can effectively counter another, or how to navigate an obstacle in the way of success. Children can benefit greatly from being presented with these challenges and encouraged to navigate them both independently and cooperatively. 

              The application of these skills extends far beyond the world of video games. For example, meeting and overcoming challenges is a great way to build confidence. Learning to approach new challenges in a familiar environment such as a favourite video game can help build the confidence necessary to overcome challenges in new, unfamiliar scenarios. 

              Esports Academy - Media 14

              Social Skills and Navigating Online Relationships

              It is time to dispel the myth of gaming being an isolating activity – video games have an incredible ability to connect people in striving for a common goal. Any team-orientated video game, from League of Legends to Fortnite, requires consistent communication and collaboration. Encouraging children to develop their teamwork within an engaging game makes the process of learning to work collaboratively far more exciting. 

              Many parents have concerns about their children’s social skills after losing crucial opportunities to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many kids found comfort in video games during this time. Bringing them into physical spaces to continue enjoying activities that are familiar is a great way to maintain their confidence while encouraging them to socialise in a new environment. 

              Practising online communication in a supervised environment is also increasingly important for children in the digital age. According to the World Economic Forum, the amount of jobs that can be worked remotely is expected to rise by 25% by 2030. Navigating online conversation and collaboration will be more vital than ever before. Gaming online can help increase familiarity with these forms of communication, and children can learn appropriate online behaviour with guidance from our coaches at the New Meta Academy.    

              Esports Academy - Media 11

              Brain Development

              Video games can even play a part in crucial aspects of brain development. Competitive games’ fast-paced nature helps children improve their reaction times, attention span, memory, hand-to-eye coordination, and spatial reasoning. To win a game, they must multitask, paying attention to their teammates while ensuring they stay on the ball and alert for the next action. 

              Through this combination of actions, children can also develop improved cognitive flexibility. This refers to their ability to quickly and effectively switch between tasks and adjust their behaviour to different situations. 
              Cognitive flexibility is a particularly crucial development stage for children between 7 and 9 years old, and it continues to improve through their teenage years. At the New Meta Academy, we cater to children from the age of 6 to 16 and support them in this journey.

              How can we support you and your child to achieve your goals?

              Creating a safe and supportive environment for gamers is at the heart of New Meta. Our gaming studio was founded to create a space for passionate players of all ages to develop their skills amongst friends. Now, the New Meta Academy brings kids from 6 to 16 the added encouragement, positive environment, and professional guidance to take their skills above and beyond. 

              Cognitive skills, social skills, and brain development are all incredibly important to your children as they learn to navigate an increasingly digital world. We not only give your child space to explore their gaming passion, but we also find ways to help them use video games as an outlet to improve their lives. 

              We are always excited to welcome new students into the academy! To learn more about the Play New Meta Academy and sign up for a trial class, click the link below!

              Sign up now for a free trial class

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