Unlike traditional sports, where there are systems, adult supervision, structured training, and competition to test participants' skills and growth, gaming and esports are free spaces where new members have to figure out how everything works. A kid that starts playing Fortnite, for instance, must figure out how to play, the best strategies and, after dying a bunch of times, will eventually get better. But as he plays in a space with no restrictions of any kind, he might be exposed to inappropriate language, degrading remarks, or even bullying. These are a few of Luke Zelon's major concerns and some of the many things he's working on changing in the esports and gaming space.
Luke Zelon is the Founder of NXT UP Esports, a space where kids can get better at the games they love to play, improve their confidence, social development, and other life skills playing with other kids and campers in a regulated, controlled, and toxicity-free environment. Luke has an extensive background in traditional sports; he worked as Director of Business Development at Catalyst Sports & Media and in Corporate Partnership and Business Development at The Los Angeles Football Club.
In this episode, our conversation revolves around the strategies and practices that worked perfectly on traditional sports that can be adapted to gaming and esports. Luke shared details of his past as a casual gamer, his first contact with competitive gaming, and what made him decided to participate and add value to the gaming industry. He also offered the perfect analogy of what represents esports in the gaming industry; we talked about his favorite games, future projects at NXT UP Esports, and more.
Tune in to Episode 12 of A Gamer's Storyand have a different look at what esports and gaming can offer to the youth.
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