Positive ambassadors in esports and education

Kylie Kendrick, Esports Lead at Durham University

Esports is gaining popularity in schools, colleges and universities as a tool to teach teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. In order for these tools to be taught, there is a necessity for esports professionals and experts to step forward and become involved to assist. Kylie Kendrick, Chair of the Esports Advisory Board, Technical Specialist and Esports Lead for Durham University gives us an insight into how positive ambassadors can make a difference in esports and education communities.

Esports professionals come in many shapes and sizes – From educators to facilitators, they can serve as an inspiration to younger people and help develop their essentials skills so they can be used across all walks of life, enabling better chances of obtaining a successful role within their chosen industry. It’s commonly understood that the skills associated with esports can be used across many different types of career and aren’t strictly as niche as they may first appear on the outside.

Esports ambassadors in particular can play an important role in the community. They are often individuals who are well known by their peers and can use their platform to promote the positive values of esports and encourage others to get involved. Their experience and knowledge of the industry is invaluable to those who would either seek to participate in esports or develop their career post study.

Whilst esports is generally seen as a positive force by those who already exist within the community, there are plenty of negative stereotypes given to it by those on the outside. It’s often misunderstood by the general public, who may view it as a waste of time or even harmful to young people. Ambassadors can help to dispel these myths and show that esports is a legitimate pastime (and even a sport) that can have a positive impact on people’s lives.

As the word esports is defined, it can be a very competitive environment and it is important to promote positive values such as sportsmanship and respect. Toxicity is rife among many sports, particularly in the spectating audiences, but as esports is performed primarily online, the anonymity it provides can increase the level of confidence that would allow the player themselves to be toxic. Ambassadors can be seen to actively work against toxicity and teach communities the tools to resist and de-escalate situations that may arise owing to another person’s toxicity.

Esports can be a great way for young people to stay involved and engaged with the wider community, but it is important to do so in a healthy way. Ambassadors demonstrate the importance of balance and moderation, and how to avoid the potential pitfalls of esports, such as addiction and social isolation. In-person social events are often held and promoted by organisations and brands that are heavily involved in the esports industry, and they see the value of bringing people together offline to socialise and communicate effectively.

Here are some examples of positive esports ambassadors who are making a difference in the community:

Fnatic Boaster is one of the best professional VALORANT players in the world and is most well-known for his consistent skills at in game leadership (IGL’ing) and extremely positive attitude both in and out of the game.

Megsoundslikeegg is another popular streamer who is known for her positive attitude and her commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the gaming community.

Emma Liston (Listo) is an educator who teaches Music primarily but runs an extra-curricular esports club that allows her students to play together as a team in a weekly league ran by British Esports. She often provides opportunities for her students to attend esports events in person that gives them an insight into the industry at large.

For more on esports, view Kylie’s Conference short here and visit our Digital Safety Community page to join the conversation.