Esports and Careers - Coordinator Spotlight

Author: Simon Help

Hello! Simon here. This is my first year as tournament Coordinator for Digital schoolhouse, and what a year it has been. This has been so fun and rewarding on many levels - which is a wonderful thing to say about your day job eh... I have always coordinated esports tournaments, covering a range of video games. The difference with the Digital Schoolhouse Smash Bros. Ultimate schools tournament is that there’s something particularly rewarding about travelling around the country, meeting loads of talented kids, then giving 'em the platform to show us how it’s done.

One of the things I noticed the most throughout the regional stage of the competition was the sportsmanship displayed by the young competitors. The levels of respect were out of this world! I’ve never ran a tournament where the competitors not only put everything into the it whilst also helping others with the game. It’s so nice to see some of the more experienced players help and support those younger, less experienced players from other teams through the tournament. After all, the tournament is designed to provide the learners with an educational esports experience, and we want everyone to have fun regardless of their skill level. Winning is an added bonus!

Regionals, completed.

The regional qualifiers for Nintendo’s Smash Bros. Ultimate schools tournament were hard work, eye opening, but most of all tonnes of fun. What started off a little wobbly soon turned into a well-oiled machine that everyone involved had a part in. One of the more notable challenges, when starting up the events, was the fact that we are all a team brand new to Digital Schoolhouse. As a result, we had to learn on the job and utilise our skillsets taken from our previous roles and knowledge of esports events. As we learned each other’s specific skills, we were able to work better as a team to effortlessly run events across the whole of the UK. That being said, a lot of the hard work was done in the preparation stage of the event.

My main role throughout the regionals was to facilitate the tournament, keep an eye on the competitive games being played, and set up the games to be streamed live via Twitch. As well as this, I took a lot of young people through the experience of shoutcasting (more commonly known as commentating) the games throughout the tournaments.

Simon teaching the young people the basics of shoutcasting.
Simon teaching the young people the basics of shoutcasting.

I did the technical setup for this, hooking up a professional microphone and using an Elgato capture card to help to stream the games. I introduced a lot of young people to the concept of shoutcasting for the first time, and gave them some tips, tricks and pointers for how to do well. Safe to say they all smashed it!

The young people shoutcasting provided some truly iconic moments, as we all know young people are well-versed in the truth - which lends itself very well to the art of shoutcasting. As someone who is self-taught when it comes to Twitch and streaming is was really nice to impart my knowledge on to the kids, although some of them taught me stuff I didn’t know too.

Moving around the country was a strange experience for someone who has everything they need in an arena to do the job they need to do. Squeezing all of the regional qualifiers into school time is tricky, especially when our network of schools spans across the UK. This meant a lot of back-to-back train journeys, and I got to see some amazing towns & cities along the way. This was the first time I had to carry the relevant equipment around with us and set it up on a daily basis. As the event progressed, we all got more comfortable with set up, timing and the daily running of the competition, so we could turn more of our attention to helping the kids learn about what we were doing.

Pictured: Shoutcasting the tournament in action 
Pictured: Shoutcasting the tournament in action 

A new challenge approaches: Semi-Finals

Now that the regionals are complete, its time to move onto the semi-finals… It’s only going to get bigger and better! We do hope you can join us via twitch at Twitch.tv_DSH and follow along on both our Twitter & Instagram pages via @Digschoolhouse, where we will be posting pictures from the event as they happen.

The first semi-final date is coming soon on the 20th of March, and we’ll be hosting the tournament live from HOST Salford, Manchester. Our second semi-final will be on the 23rd of March, and again you will be able to tune in as we will be live from Staffordshire University London’s Digital Institute in Here East, East London.

See you there for more fun & games (and a fair helping of education)!