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ESPORTS

San Diego County Office of Education

No longer just video games, ESports offers serious team competition for students in San Diego County. Tapping into the popularity of gaming and computer science, the Innovation Division and Educational Technology Department Teams working on SDCOE's ESports Initiative aim to provide students safe, fun, and competitive opportunities while introducing them to career pathways in the field of computer science and gaming, and even the potential for college scholarships. 

Benefits of ESports

"Gaming brings people from all different backgrounds together who, outside of this industry, would likely never cross paths. Esports improves students’ innovation, communication skills, critical & analytical thinking, and promotes complex teamwork. It provides students of all levels who are often uninvolved in extracurriculars a safe, inclusive environment that turns their hobbies into college scholarships, career possibilities and more!"

-Angelique Gianas
Helix Charter School

Monarch School ESports Team

Meet an ESports Team

"It's a great opportunity to try something new," said Alex, a 16-year-old at Monarch School in San Diego, where a team started in January. "I learn how to play as a team and communicate."

At Monarch School, a team of six students practice every day and compete once a week. They meet to train on the game and discuss strategy before each match, similar to traditional sports. They also need to meet the same academic and disciplinary requirements as students who participate in other sports. The experience has brought the students together as a team. They're even getting their own jerseys.

"It's all about team work," said Mark Rounds, the ESports coach and teacher at Monarch School. "There were things that I saw from some of the students that I hadn't seen before."

Why does SDCOE support ESports?

"Attendance, grades, and behavioral expectations are spelled out in school or district policies; E-Athletes will be no exception for these rules. In some cases, ESports are a reason why students make good decisions, like coming to school and obtaining good grades."  

-Rothwell, G., & Shaffer, M. (2019). eSports in K-12 and Post-Secondary Schools. Education Sciences, 9(2), 105. doi:10.3390/educsci9020105

Competitive video gaming, more commonly being referred to as ESports (electronic sports), is undeniably growing in popularity with players and spectators around the world. According to Keiper, Manning, Jenny, Olrich, and Croft (2017) in their article for the Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletics in Education, ESports has "grown into a multi-million dollar industry." This is because ESports are increasingly being added to many intercollegiate althletic departments and these colleges are offering serious athletic scholarships to their ESports Athletes.

In addition to supporting ESports Management with county schools, districts, and community organizations. We are currently looking to partner with educators and business partners to promote the following ESports topics: 

1. ESports Curriculum Standards for San Diego County
2. Standards and Policies for Coaching: Creating Safe Spaces
3. Increasing Opportunities for Females ESports Athletes
4. Encouraging Culturally Diversity in ESports Teams
5. Inclusive Practices for Game Development
6. Changing the Dialogue Around Students and Gaming
7. Understanding the Science of Gaming - Research Opportunities
8. Engaging Community Support of ESports and E-Athletes

Patrick Gittisriboongal

Meet an ESports Coach

Angelique Gianas

Angelique Gianas is an English Teacher at Helix Charter High School in La Mesa, California. She created Helix’s ESports and gaming club in early 2018 and has quickly grown it to be one of the biggest clubs on campus. Angelique is fascinated with the ESports in education movement because she is an avid gamer herself and believes that gaming opens doors for students who previously did not have a place in after school and/or sports activities. She is passionate about welcoming and breaking down barriers for female students into the ESports industry.

Angelique was recently was chosen to be a part of NASEF’s first Scholastic Fellow Program and couldn’t be more excited to expand what she has created at Helix Charter High School. She will be collaborating with NASEF’s curriculum specialists to bring esports career curriculum into her classroom and after school program. NASEF’s ELA ESports curriculum was designed by a team of professors and researchers from the University of California, Irvine, curriculum development experts from the Orange County Department of Education, and English teachers from several high schools in Orange County, California. The curriculum is A-G approved, creating a CTE pathway for students in esports industry-related studies such as game design, entrepreneurship, marketing, and event organization.


The San Diego County Office of Education is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. SDCOE does not discriminate in its employment practices or educational programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, religion or religious creed, marital status, pregnancy or parental status, physical or mental disability or handicap, sex or gender, gender/transgender identity and expression, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, political affiliation, genetic information, a perception of one or more of such characteristics, association with a person of group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state or local law as applicable to educational services and/or employment. More detailed SDCOE policies and regulations can be found at www.sdcoe.net/nondiscrimination.

All images used are Public Domain or created by SDCOE staff unless otherwise noted. 
*Events Page Header, Image Source: LoLespor, "2017 Dünya Şampiyonası", filter adapted, https://www.flickr.com/photos/lolespor/36921142383/