Independent school group Curro Holdings, in partnership with Acer for Education, has launched Curro’s own eSports gaming platform in South Africa.
Utilising help and expert guidance from Acer, Curro’s innovative new platform reassures parents with an extra layer of cyber security to ensure learners’ safety while playing online video game tournaments as part of the school group’s pioneering eSports programme.
Curro’s eSports programme has already registered more than 1,900 learners from across 38 of the group’s primary and 28 of the group’s high schools since its launch in 2020.
Until now, learners playing any of the tournaments, including Apex Legends and Minecraft Squad, as well as traditional eSports games like Rocket League, have not had a central space to view information. However, the new Acer platform allows teams to view their rankings but also makes it possible for coaches to manage players, coordinate tournaments and also allow communication between players as well as between players and coaches.
The tournaments are live-streamed via Twitch which means everyone gets to watch.
“We are amazed at how quickly our eSports programme has taken off. Our parents now understand that eSports is not just about playing video games as an extracurricular activity, but in fact, provides an entire world of opportunity for our learners, as an integrated part of our curriculum,” says Angela Schaerer, Digital Transformation Manager at Curro Holdings.
Schaerer says the new platform allows them to take their eSports offering to a whole new level of learning and upskill their learners and staff even more.
“For example, they can now shout cast (MC) games on the platform which is an extremely exciting opportunity, and we are already working closely with Acer to introduce a shout casting mentorship programme soon. We are planning to host our inter-Curro Cup tournament later this year, to determine the best eSport school in the group,” Schaerer says.
Recent research has identified numerous benefits to playing eSports and video games. These include improving the players’ ability to process and prioritise information, and enhancing their critical and creative thinking skills while quickening decision-making and reaction time without sacrificing accuracy.
Regular gaming also helps learners develop self-confidence and calmness, as well as acquire 21st-century skills like social awareness, collaboration, adaptability, persistence, and resourcefulness. These competencies could have ongoing future returns, helping learners secure valuable careers, especially in areas of math, science, and engineering.
Curro says it has been forging ahead with its eSports programme after witnessing the popularity of virtual sports during the Covid-19 lockdown when traditional sports were prohibited. Since then, the independent education provider has quickly fostered a name for itself in the global eSports community, having claimed victory in an International Minecraft match against a school in California in June 2021.
Edited by Zintle Nkohla
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