.Westlake Boys High School in Auckland, New Zealand integrated esports into its sports clubs and partnered with New Era Technology to implement a new computer lab with the necessary graphic power to play popular games. The new lab provided a social platform for students to participate and train in an environment that allowed them to hone their skills and compete against others. This successful integration of esports set a new standard for esports in schools, and is a positive trend that will continue to grow in the future.
As video games continue to gain popularity worldwide, the esports industry has experienced significant growth in recent years. New Zealand is no exception. With a growing number of gamers across the country, some schools have now integrated esports into their sports clubs. In response to this trend, Westlake Boys High School in Auckland launched its esports program (in 2019), allowing students to join teams and play popular games such as League of Legends and Rocket League. The esports club started in the school and has garnered a lot of attention from students, growing to become the third-largest sport in the school behind basketball and rugby. With such popularity, the club needed adequate resources to enable the teams to play at the highest level.
Simon, the Head of Digital Technologies at Westlake Boys High School, was the driving force behind the project. Simon recognised the opportunity to provide students with an esports lab and started the club with several teams. However, the current computers were not powerful enough for gaming and lacked the necessary peripherals to ensure optimal performance. As a result, students would prefer to play at home instead of at school. The aim was to provide a solution to encourage students to play at school, develop team dynamics, and perform more like an esports team. Before this project, Westlake Boys High School had been a long-term client of New Era Technology.
With the current lease of their computer lab ending, it was the perfect opportunity to ask New Era to implement a new computer lab equipped with the necessary graphic power needed to play these games. With a new lab, the school can offer students a secure and modern environment to practice and compete in esports.
New Era Technology implemented a new computer lab with five gaming PCs (desktop with monitors), gaming-specific mice with DPI sensors, mechanical keyboards, and high refresh rate monitors. Despite space constraints, the lab was designed to provide the latest gaming technology while also being used for standard teaching programs on a daily basis
Through this process, New Era Technology provided support and guidance to ensure a smooth transition from the old computer lab to the new one. This included negotiating lease terms, coordinating the removal of the old equipment, and the installation of the new equipment. The lab implementation was a “seamless process,” according to Simon.
The impact of the new lab was significant for the school. It provided a social platform for students, many of whom were not involved in other traditional sports to participate in something they love. Westlake Boys High School’s esports teams can now train and compete at the highest level and in an environment where they can hone their skills and compete against others in a secure space. The new gaming PCs are faster and more powerful, allowing for better performance in competitions.
This has also enticed more students to join esports teams. As a result, the club has become a significant enabler for students who were not involved in traditional sports to be part of something that provided them with a social platform and a sense of community.
Westlake Boys High School has set a new standard for esports in schools through the successful integration of its new computer lab. The lab has provided the school’s esports teams with the necessary resources and environment to train and compete at the highest level.
New Era Technology looks forward to continuing working with Westlake Boys in providing the best IT recommendations and solutions for their requirements. Schools across the country are beginning to recognise the importance of esports and are integrating them into their programs. This is a positive trend and one that will continue to grow in the years to come. The future of esports in schools is bright, and the success of Westlake Boys High School is just the beginning.