By Isabella Salvatori, ‘23
The EA SPORTS Gaming at Montverde Academy is a new program in the Educational Technology and Innovation Center at Montverde Academy. The program gives students a fresh opportunity to learn skills pertaining to careers in esports, from game development all the way through to promotion and game execution.
Enrolling in this program provides unique opportunities, offering courses such as game history and ethics. “The program teaches students teamwork, communication, leadership, and sportsmanship skills. It also teaches everything on the backend of esports like casting, graphics, coaching, observing, and analyses,” said Mr. Oshae Hicks, Coordinator for EA SPORTS Gaming at MVA. The half-day program allows students to concentrate on their esports skills with knowledge culminating as seniors choosing one of two pathways for an apex project that either highlights opportunities they have to shadow experts in the field or to develop and market their own game.
During the given time for the program, students work in multiple PC game formats analyzing their plays in “scrims” and making plans to strategize future moves during active competitions. One of the many benefits of the program allows them to compete for the opportunity to win scholarships. This space allows students not only to work on important career-based skills within gaming and design, but it can also provide a positive outlet for students.
“I joined the program because I love competitive gaming and always saw it as an opportunity in college. This program is important to me because it allows me to be prepared for college-level esports,” said Cody Werner, ’23.
Mr. Hicks holds a deep passion regarding the subjects in this field. Mr. Hicks said, “Growing up, I didn’t have an outlet to explore my gaming passion, so I want to give my students that opportunity. I love to help people improve in all areas, whether in games or real life.”
Esports is an incredibly prominent industry. Allowing students to practice their skills in a serious environment is a fundamental aspect of their future in the field. That future certainly looks bright due to the program’s partnerships with EA SPORTS and Full Sail University.
“The expertise in the industry that EA SPORTS provides helped us to design the academy programming in a way that best fits preparation for a career in esports whether that is game design and development, marketing, or shout casting,” iterated Dr. Caryn Long, Director of the Educational Technology and Innovation Center. “Now, Full Sail has joined us in providing experts from their programs to help mold these students and prepare them further by providing training and field trip opportunities to their facilities. We are profoundly grateful for the support that they both provide.”