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How does an esports camp work?

An esports camp offers many different types of games.

Esports in college has increased in popularity at an exponential rate over the past decade. For example, from 2014-16, the number of colleges that offered esports scholarships increased from one to 15. Today, more than 170 schools are members of the National Association of Collegiate Esports and sponsor varsity esports programs. Many of them offer scholarships. As a result of the rewards that are starting to be awarded to top players who head to college, many competitors are taking advantage of esports camps.

An esports camp provides an opportunity to improve all aspects of your game. You get to learn how to prepare for and navigate high-pressure situations. So much of esports is instinctually oriented, so it's important to be mentally prepared for those moments so that you can rely on those instincts. Instructors also know how important it is to manage your emotions while playing and will help you learn how to manage yours. Communication is pivotal as well. An esports camp will provide you with the ability to learn how to improve and put into practice your communication and leadership skills.

Gamer camps are starting to take place in greater numbers throughout the country. The cost of an esports camp varies and depends on factors such as its length, whether accommodations are included and the quality of the instructors. Their costs will generally range from $100 to $4,000. Many are privately run, but some are hosted by universities. UC Irvine hosts one of the latter types. Any that are taking place at a school that you're considering should shoot towards the top of your list of esports camps.

Esports camp schedules will vary from camp to camp. Generally, they'll start with breakfast and end with dinner. Surrounding lunch are, in many cases, hour-long sessions with individual games, workshops and free play. Camp activities, not counting meals, will usually last at least five hours a day. If it's an overnight camp, evening activities are often scheduled as well.

Summer camp video games are more common than camps held at other times of the year. That's because that's when you and other students are most apt to have the time available to attend. However, you can usually find a selection of camps taking place throughout the rest of the year as well.

Esports camp options

Typing "esports camp near me" into your preferred search engine will provide you with several useful resources. However, before you do that, browse the below selection of many of the country's most prestigious.

Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs offers an esports summer camp for those 10-18 years of age. It's held at Localhost Philadelphia, an esports-focused venue that provides quality equipment and professionally run tournaments. This camp runs from 5-7 days with a cost that ranges from $600-$2,000. Games played there include Overwatch, League of Legends and Rocket League.

Esports Camps has a three-pronged philosophy for its campers: to become a better player, learn how to be a good teammate and develop your skills while away from the game. The latter point relates to things such as mindfulness exercises and preventative exercises to help you avoid overuse or other injuries. Its camps are generally four days long, for those 13-19 years old and focus on League of Legends. Prices tend to range from $300-$700.

Pure Esports offers a five-day summer esports camp for those in grades 4-12 for $200. The values of balanced decision making, communication and strategy are some of its focuses. The games that are played here are League of Legends and Overwatch. It's held in Gilbert, Ariz.

Axis Replay, which is located in Atlanta, offers four weeks of esports camps within a six-week span every summer. The cost ranges from $900 for a week to $2,200 for four weeks. Discounts are provided to those who take advantage of early registration. Health and tutorials are a focus as well as gaming activities. Campers will either learn two games a day, one game a day or one game a week, depending on their skill level. The most skilled will focus on one game a week.

USA Esports Academy offers an impressive selection of camps in locales throughout the country. One example is its Fornite Camp, which is for those 13-14 years old. It's held in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston and Ann Arbor, Mich. This camp focuses on safe practices, game design and improving skills and strategy.

Esports camps: The games

One of the first questions that many have prior to signing up for an esports camp is, "Which games will be played there?" In most cases, they will involve one or more of the following.

Multiplayer online battle arena games are highlighted by League of Legends and Dota 2. Both of these are amongst the world's most popular. League of Legends has often ranked first on YouTube and Twitch in viewers, and it's especially popular amongst the esports scene. More than 100 million viewers watched the 2019 League of Legends World Championship. Dota 2 is one of Steam's most played games with a million playing simultaneously at times and has a vibrant professional scene. Tens of millions of dollars are awarded at The International. The basic premise of both games is to take the enemy's base while protecting your own.

First person shooter games are particularly popular. Generally, these games involve players needing to shoot opponents without getting shot as they proceed through a series of objectives. Over_watch is played professionally by those in the Over_watch League. PUBG is not one of the most popular esports, but it has a devoted fanbase. Apex Legends, which was released in 2019, is a growing force in the esports world. CSGO, Steam's most popular offering, is a premier game on the esports scene. Fortnite's most prestigious annual event is the Fortnite World Cup; $30 million was awarded there in 2019. Team Fortress 2 is popular on Steam but does struggle to receive consummate esports interest.

StarCraft 2 is the most noteworthy real-time strategy game in the esports world. The first month it was released, it sold 3 million copies, becoming the fastest-selling game of its type in history. It's played professionally with South Korean players comprising many of its best. Those based there focus on the Global StarCraft 2 League while professional players elsewhere take part in the World Championship Series. The goal of most players is to destroy others' armies and structures.

Two of the most popular sports games are related to soccer: FIFA and Rocket League. The former is a realistic depiction of soccer matches. It was first played in 1993 and is played professionally at events such as the eWorld Cup. That event was first held in 2004. Meanwhile, Rocket League, which has smaller playing numbers and budgets, rivals the other soccer-based game in popularity in the esports world. It features rocket-powered cars playing soccer, so it's obviously not based on reality but is fun enough to garner considerable interest. Professionals play in the Rocket League Championship Series.

The two most popular fighting games are arguably Street Fighter and Super Smash Bros. Both have thriving esports scenes. Street Fighter has been around since 1987, and its rich history in esports dates decades. Super Smash Bros. was first released in 1999 and has also received considerable interest from professionals. Both and other popular fighting games are played at the Evolution Championship Series.

Learn more about esports camps

Gaming camp: What to bring

Prior to heading to a gaming camp, research what you must bring and what you can leave home. These regulations can vary a bit from esports camp to esports camp. For some games, you may need to arrive with an account already set up. Meanwhile, a gaming computer, keyboard, mouse and monitor might be provided. You may need to bring your own headset. Food is generally provided. If you're staying at an overnight camp, see if bedding will be given or if you must bring your own.

Esports training

What types of training take place at a video gaming camp? Much of the time that's spent at video game camps involves taking part in scrims and gameplay. At other times, campers watch professionals and each other play and analyze their decisions with the assistance of video game camp directors. Learning and practicing special combinations and how quickly those can be entered are often done as well. The teaching of healthy habits is often a focus. You should regularly stretch your hands and use proper ergonomics so that carpal tunnel and similar issues can be mitigated and prevented.

Esports tournaments

The format for tournaments varies a bit. Some use the format that's often in place at international soccer tournaments: a group stage followed by a series of single-elimination rounds. Others solely use a bracket system. Some games – CSGO being a prime example – have the teams play a series of head-to-head matches when they compete.

College esports competitions involve a variety of video games. NACE does not endorse any and allows its individual college esports teams to decide what to play. With that said, those teams tend to play titles that are also popular with professionals.

For a list of the top earners in the esports rankings, head to the informative list that esportsearnings.com has compiled. Meanwhile, here's a list of some of the world's most popular esports tournaments:

  • Apex Legends Global Series
  • Battle.net World Championship Series
  • Call of Duty League
  • eGames
  • Electronic Sports League
  • Electronic Sports World Cup
  • FIFA Interactive World Cup
  • Halo Championship Series
  • Rocket League Championship Series
  • The International
  • International e-Sports Federation
  • League of Legends World Championship
  • World Cyber Games

Checkout what esports camps can do for you

College esports internships, scholarships and recruiting

As you look towards your professional future, consider getting an esports internship. Like other internships, these provide real-world experience in the field. You can often use that to earn a full-time position. Any gaming experience that you have can only help you impress recruiters that are hiring in the esports field.

Of course, your gaming skills can earn you one of the ever-increasing number of esports scholarships. To secure one, you need to show that you not only have quality skills now but also the potential to improve considerably. Your ability to stay emotionally steady and communicate will be observed too. Simply put, you should be able to show that you are and will continue to be a valuable member of esports teams.

The recruiting process is getting more intense every year. Schools want their varsity esports teams to be competitive. They like to see success at esports tournaments. A focus on esports teams recruiting results from that desire. That means that playing esports in college can result in some or all of your tuition and fees being paid for with scholarships. These usually range in value from $500-$8,000 per year.

Official recruiting services partner

Next College Student Athlete is a recruiting services company that has helped more than 200,000 student-athletes earn spots on college teams since it was founded in 2000. NCSA is also intimately involved with college esports recruiting as it's the official recruiting services partner of the NACE. Those who work for NCSA understand the nuances of esports recruiting and are dedicated to using that knowledge to help high school students use their skills to secure places on college varsity teams.

This is done in a variety of ways. NCSA staff members do things like help with recruiting plans, getting in contact with coaches and creating video highlight reels. It knows the recruiting process for sports such as college football and college basketball, and it knows the recruiting process for college esports. Thanks to how respected it is, this organization has received solid reviews over the years. In fact, it's averaged a near-perfect 4.9 stars on Google Reviews.

If you're interested in seeing what NCSA can do for you, fill out your free profile and get the ball rolling. Do you have any questions? Give 866 495-5172 a call, and staff members would be glad to answer them.

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