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Making Room for Esports in Schools

Article Posted: 01/02/2024

Preston Gardner, Kyle Olson, Tyler Normington

Since RESPAWN’s inception in 2017, we have worked to offer quality-made products that enhance the gaming experience for players at all levels and help anyone who wants it to find a home in the esports community. Recently, we took a major step towards that goal by establishing a partnership with full-service K-12 space designer Palmer Hamilton, allowing us to bring the benefits of esports to the next generation of gamers.

Esports in EDU

Activities that kids participate in during their days in K-12 can lead them to future careers, and an interest in esports opens the door to more career opportunities than almost any other school activity. MarketWatch reported in 2021 that the video games industry grew to surpass the combined market share of both film and North American sports, and the jobs in this massive enterprise are both numerous and lucrative.1

In addition to elevating students’ career potential, esports programs can help boost mental health. Through our work with the Wisconsin High School Esports Association (WIHSEA), we have found that 80 percent or more of the members in most esports programs do not participate in another team activity. For most of these kids, esports are a chance to reap the benefits of being on a team that they would not traditionally find elsewhere. According to, these can include lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher cognitive function and even a reduced risk of suicide.2 With these results in mind, we see our expansion into K-12 not just an exciting growth opportunity for esports, but also a chance to help schools provide support systems for students’ mental health.

Equipping for Esports

Creating a successful esports program starts with getting students excited through building the right environment. A basketball program would not thrive if the playing space consisted of an outdoor, concrete court with a portable hoop. Players want a proper court with team colors on the walls, equipment they are thrilled to use every day and school pride exhibited throughout the space. Esports is the same.

Our new partnership offers schools the opportunity to replicate or even elevate the spaces their gaming students have at home. The gaming-specific chairs and desks from RESPAWN that provide a state-of-the-art gaming space are paired with school imagery and modern design from Palmer Hamilton. Participating students can grow their skills in a class-leading space while feeling the pride and belonging that come with participating in an organized team activity.


The benefits of esports and its growth in K-12 schools are promising trends for the future of our industry. We are ecstatic to be providing the gamers of tomorrow with the equipment and spaces they need to power up their potential.

1: Videogames are a bigger industry than movies and North American sports combined, thanks to the pandemic - MarketWatch
2: Benefits of Youth Sports (