With summer upon us, and COVID-19 flipping business-as-usual upside down, we wanted to help you make plans to keep your gaming skills up to par with esports summer camps. Parents, this is also a great activity for your kids stuck at home.
What are the best esports summer camps? Four camp programs typically regarded as the best summer camps for esports athletes are Esports Camps, Lavner Esports Camps, UCI Esports Camps, and iD Tech Fortnite Summer Camp.
Obviously, there are a lot more camps that you or your child can attend. These camp programs are typically regarded as some of the most prestigious. In this article, we will spend some time discussing each camp.
You’ll see what makes each program unique and if it’s a suitable fit for you.
Kids are so lucky nowadays to even have summer camps designed entirely around video games.
Are Esports Summer Camps Real?
They are real and are only growing in popularity.
As the esports industry has grown so has the desire to create specific esports summer camps for kids.
Growing up, all I remember attending was an arts camp, theater camp, and going on typical summer vacations with my family. Esports camps weren’t really an option because competitive gaming didn’t exist.
Kids today see esports as a way to support themselves financially, get scholarships to universities, and maybe turn it into a career.
These motivations have further driven the popularity of esports summer camps. They offer a way to improve skills so kids can gain access to various opportunities.
A 16-year-old gamer from my home state of North Carolina had this to say about why he is pursuing esports and even attending their summer camps.
“My parents understand that it’s definitely a career path now and it can get you into colleges.”
He has shown his parents the benefits that come for esports. I also love the fact that his parents are so supportive of his decisions.
That’s not something you see often within the esports world.
It was interesting to me as I studied the different esports summer camps, the amount of money you have to pay for enrollment into these programs.
I expected them to be pricey, but not on the level I was seeing. The price is determined when you factor in the amount of technology and tools it takes to run these camps.
DID YOU KNOW?
The average price for a sleep-away camp is $768.
While a lot of the typical summer camps will only rely on nature. Esports summer camps need high-performing computers and internet.
You’ll also notice as we go through these camps almost all of them are overnight, which adds to the total cost.
As we’ve seen already esports really is a worldwide phenomenon which means you or your child might be at camps with players from all over the world. It’s not uncommon for gamers in Asia or Europe to travel for these esports summer camps.
I think that’s amazing that so many kids are getting exposed to gamers from other parts of the world and cultures.
You’re Not Alone
One benefit that continues to make esports and their summer camps so popular is there ability to connect people that share a common passion.
These camps are a safe place for young gamers to feel like they can be who they are.
Esports allows them to make friends and feel supported by their peers while pursuing the same goal to become a professional gamer.
A 14-year-old girl from Denver had this to say about esports summer camps, and it’s ability to connect people.
It’s funny to see this shift in mindset amongst the younger generation where gamers are considered “rockstars”.
Everyone wants to be a professional gamer and recognized as the best.
The people behind some of esports largest brands and organizations are primarily advocates for these summer camps.
They know for their sport to grow and succeed; they need talent that they can train and groom.
Nate Nazer is the commissioner of the Overwatch League. It’s an insanely popular esports league that has taken the country by storm. He had this to say about esports and its ability to connect younger people together.
I honestly couldn’t have said it any better myself. Mr. Nazer really summed it up very well why esports has become so popular and why so many kids are flocking to their summer camps.
Esports camps are an excellent opportunity for young gamers to have access to top-of-the-line talent and coaching. These professionals help aspiring players understand what it takes to be a professional gamer. Many of these camps focus equally on improving skills and how to behave as a professional.
I think that’s especially important in today’s world. Thanks to social media, more and more people are getting in trouble for the things they tweet.
By giving these kids solid knowledge about how to behave and accurately represent themselves, you’re setting them up for success.
These following stats really sold me on why esports summer camps are popular today and will only continue to be more popular in the future.
A study by the National Sporting Goods Association revealed that participation in traditional sports was down 5.8% in 2017 amongst kids between the ages of 7 and 17.
There’s also been a sharp 20% decline in youth American Football participation since 2009 according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association.
Around 1 million fewer kids are playing baseball in Little League than they were 20 years ago.
I’ll give you a second to process some of those numbers…
It definitely took me a minute to understand why there’s been such a decline in overall youth sports participation.
At first, I was sad to see such a sharp decline, but as these other sports, have fallen esports is only continuing to rise. It’s not that kids aren’t wanting to play and take part; it’s just their attention is on other activities.
These numbers just reflect what the young girl said in her quote. Today’s generation is more focused on video games.
There will always be traditional youth sports, but esports really is the future.
With there being such a desire to have a video game career, I’m encouraged people are making professional-looking esports summer camps.
These are top of the line and trusted camps you should feel comfortable sending your children to. There’s been a lot of work done to make these camps valuable for the kids attending.
Hopefully, you live near one of these camps and will have the opportunity to either attend or send your child to one of these fantastic camps.
Who knows, I might send one of my children to these camps one day.
Please know the following list is not in a specific order. These are the four best esports camps we could find within the United States.
Julian Krinsky Esports Summer Camp (closed)
Due to COVID-19 Julian Krinsky was forced to close its doors 🙁 We thank them for all they did for the esports community and wish all the impacted families over very best wishes!!!
On their website, you’ll find a COVID-19 Closing Letter explaining their decision. Below is a single paragraph from that letter.
While we are sad to see Julian Krinsky has closed, they are some exciting new camps we would love to add to our list.
- Website: https://www.esportscamps.com/
- Dates: Continual
- Cost: All Camps Summer Pass $495
- Location: Virtual
Esports Camps, the brainchild of Justin Hoeveler, debuted in June 2018, offering an educational program for youth to improve their skills both in and out of games.
During an interview with Esports Observer in May 2019, Hoeveler stated:
Esports Camps is all about making esports players better, both in the game and in life.
They are not shy about the goals behind their programs. They design their summer camps for esports athletes who want to compete.
And all camps have a heavy focus on learning skills, but they also teach players how to work as a team and just be better teammates.
Every camper is teamed up with other players of similar skill level. Each camper will play side-by-side with teammates every day and learn how to prepare, play, and learn from any competitive experience.
Top coaches will help players understand how to recognize and navigate tough situations, from buying the right items to communicating with their team.
Players will also learn how to self-reflect and manage their emotions, while learning valuable communication skills and decision making to perform their best and support their team… I love this!!!
They design their camps around 3 key components:
- Learn new skills and work on your competitive advantage.
- Learn to work as a team using clear communication.
- Learn to be a better esports athlete through physical and mental fitness.
Esports Camps are offering a vast selection of video game camps players can learn.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- League of Legends
- Rainbow Six Siege
- Rocket League
Location and Dates
Because of COVID-19, all camps are virtual. Below is their current schedule as of this posting. You can find their most up-to-date schedule on their site.
For summer 2020, Esports Camps is offer an All Summer Pass for only $495.
Summer Pass Includes:
- Access to your choice of Summer Esports Camps (qualifying camps only)
- Up to 3 private sessions with any coach!
- VOD Analysis
- Your Choice of Game Currency ($10 value)
- Discord Badge & Privileges
- Official Esports Camps Jersey
- Bring a friend with you to camp for 50% off!
- Special gift (presented by our Partners at Logitech)
Oh, to be young again. If it was me, I would be all over Esports Camps!
- Website: lavnercampsandprograms.com
- Dates: June – August
- Cost: $299
- Location: Virtual
Up next on our list is the esports summer camps provided by Lavner camps.
Lavner camps is another program that has been around for years offering a variety of camps and is now dabbling in esports.
One of my favorite parts about the Lavner camps esports program is how they focus on every aspect of gaming for aspiring esports athletes.
Specifically, they take gamers through what they call Safe Practices. Meaning they teach them how to build playing schedules, take mental and physical breaks, and how to stretch and exercise properly.
If you’ve read any of our previous blogs; one of the things I’ve always pushed in esports is the health of their athletes. It’s a component that can be easily overlooked, so I appreciate them taking the time to make sure the young gamers are taking care of their overall health.
Of course, while they are at the camp, they will get hands-on training to improve their mechanical skills. Meaning improving their timing, aiming, reactions, and communication skills while they are playing Overwatch.
Participants also receive in-depth teaching on strategy and analysis. Which you’ll absolutely need to compete with the best esports athletes in the world.
They are offering a virtual Fortnite camp through their Virtual Esports Academy.
The camp includes training on:
- Sensitivity Training
- Schedule Optimization
- Level Design with Unreal Engine
- Improving Skills and Strategy
- Mastering Creative Mode
Their Overwatch Camp is specifically designed for kids between the ages of 13 and 15.
Locations and Dates
One of the reasons you might be drawn to their program initially is their variety of locations where you can participate in their camps. Fortunately, Lavner Camps has been able to still offer virtual camps during these difficult times.
They are offering dozens of technology based camps, and several virtual esports camps for players from June-August.
With esports being such a favorite activity nationwide it’s helpful to have so many locations (and virtual camps available) that parents can send their kids.
The dates for the camps change depending on the location and game. They do offer camps from June until August
The camp you decide to attend will affect the tuition fee. Typically their camps cost from $579-$609. However, at the time this was written, the virtual camps cost $299.
When booking please make sure to look into all the discounts. They offer discounts when you send multiple children and for early registration.
I appreciate them being such a long-standing and established organization.
They have plenty of options for you to choose from as you make plans for the summer.
- Website: https://esports.uci.edu/camps/
- Dates: League of Legends Bootcamp July 6-17, Overwatch Bootcamp July 6-17, Girls in Gaming Postponed because of COVID-19
- Cost: $350
- Location: Virtual
As a millennial with a lot of student debt, I found this esports summer camp very appealing.
Mainly because the summer camp is operated by the actual University of California Irvine.
With the University running the program, your chances of earning a scholarship improve substantially if you attend their summer camp.
Their summer camps are relatively new but are quickly gaining traction amongst the esports community.
One way they initially gained so much traction was with their first summer camp Girls in Gaming.
It was designed specifically for young female players. The organizers wanted to help expose female gamers to the industry, support them, and show how they can turn gaming into a successful career.
They cover a variety of topics during the camp including esports journalism, how to stay healthy while gaming and they just play video games.
If you look at the speakers lined up to teach you’d be very impressed with the knowledge they can bring. It’s a combination of successful competitive gamers and people who run the industry.
These camps are designed more for experienced gamers. The camp wants to show experienced players how to prepare for a career in esports or to see the other options available to them.
They want these young players to be signed to a significant esports team and hopefully, one day compete in esports tournaments.
They play a variety of games in the Girls in Gaming camp. If you aren’t interested in that camp please consider either one of their other camps.
Location and Dates
All three camps are typically run in the UCI Esports Arena. This year all their camps will be available for players online.
Here are the dates for all 3 camps.
- League of Legends Bootcamp runs from July 6th through July 17th.
- Overwatch Bootcamp runs from July 6th through July 17th.
- Girls in Gaming has been postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19.
The Girls in Gaming camp has the lowest registration fee I’ve seen for any esports summer camp… It’s only $100 to attend the event.
With such a low registration fee, it’s easy for people to send their daughters to gain access to the excellent teaching.
Both the League of Legends and Overwatch Bootcamp cost $350.
Even though this camp is only on the West Coast in California, it’s definitely appealing to me as a parent.
I appreciate it being at the University and their focus on helping gamers reach the next level. Plus, the Girls in Gaming Camp is such a phenomenal idea.
iD Tech Camp
- Website: idtech.com
- Dates: Various dates from June-August
- Cost: $4,199
- Location: Nationwide & Virtual
This was definitely one of the more unique summer camps I discovered during my research.
One thing that makes them more unique is their particular focus on the data science behind the games.
Their camp is so unique because they focus on the data science behind the games and skill development.
The Esports Player Development and Data Science camp is designed to help players improve through a systematic analysis of their skills
In their first week, campers practice and play the games they love while collecting and documenting data that can help improve their skills.
In week two, based on the data they’ve collected from week one, they use drills to improve their gameplay and look at the games from a whole new angle.
Their camp is for kids between the ages of 13 and 18. Participants can be beginners or experts.
DID YOU KNOW?
Esports star Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins claims he makes $500,000 a month streaming Fortnite on Twitch.
This is why I appreciate them placing so much focus on that aspect of the business. It’s essential these gamers learn how to think differently about their performance, and approach it just like any other athlete.
These data science skills are excellent to have for any future career. Data analysis skills are universal and can be used in a variety of careers.
League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and more.
Locations and Dates
They have locations across the country. They currently have camps in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and in Washington.
It’s a two-week program with dates from June-August.
Since they do so much training on video editing and development the price to attend their camps are on the higher side. The average price to attend their camp is $4,199.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to find a program near you.
Honestly, if you’re serious about esports, there are not a lot of excuses as to why you can not attend an esports summer camp.
There are camps designed for just about every game, and they have camps throughout the country and thanks to COVID-19, all are offering some kind of virtual camps.
If the only thing holding you back is financial reasons, then please contact the camp organizers and see if there are any scholarships.
Many of them offer scholarships or financial aid to help make it affordable for families.
I’m a big advocate of taking advantage of every opportunity available to you as you try to grow your career.
So instead of spending your summer at home playing online, tryout a camp listed here and meet new people.
They can help you increase in skill and hopefully get your name out there amongst the professional esports teams.
Are there any other expenses besides the registration fee for these camps? It can vary depending on the camp you decide to attend, but yes there are typically additional expenses. The extra expenses usually include travel and the purchase of a game. Some of the camps require you to already have an account in the game you’d like to play.