It’s almost my favorite time of year…summer! With summer quickly approaching parents are starting to make plans for their kids while school is out. The latest trend for parents is actually to send their kids to esports summer camps.
What are the best esports summer camps? Four camp programs typically regarded as the best summer camps for esports athletes are Julian Krinsky Esports Summer Camp, 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. We are going to spend some time discussing each camp. You’ll see what makes each program unique and if it’s a good 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 absolutely 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 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 been able to show his parents the benefits that come for me esports. I also love the fact that his parents are so supportive of his decisions.
That’s not something you see very often within the esports world.
It was interesting to me as I studied the different esports summer camps the amount of money that you have to pay for enrollment into these programs.
I anticipated 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 obviously 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 of the benefits that continue 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 our thing now. It’s our clique. It’s like being on a football team or a baseball team or being an actor. If you are a gamer and an aspiring esports player, you are almost guaranteed to find other kids that are interested in the same thing.”
It’s funny to see this shift in mindset amongst the younger generation where gamers are considered the ‘rockstars.’
Everyone wants to be a professional gamer and be recognized as the best.
The people behind some of esports largest brands and organizations are primary advocates for these summer camps. They know for their sport to grow and succeed they need young talent to be groomed.
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 don’t need to win the genetic lottery to be in the Overwatch League. I don’t need to be LeBron, who is 6-9, 220 with 4 percent body fat to play in the league. I need to be great at Overwatch, and it doesn’t matter if I’m a boy or a girl, where I’m from, how big I am, how fast I am. You need to be great at the game, you need to be smart and have great hand-eye coordination to be a special player who can play at this level, but it is so much more accessible.”
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 your only setting them up for success.
These following stats are what really sold me on why esports summer camps are popular today and will only continue to be more popular in the future.
A study done 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 participate; it’s just their attention is on other activities.
These numbers just reflect what that 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 are 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 be sending 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
- Website: https://jkcp.com/program/esports-summer-camp/
- Dates: July 7-20, July 21-Aug 3
- Cost: Day- $1,310 or Whole Program- $4,375
- Location: Villanova University and Haverford College
If you do a quick Google search of an esports summer camps, the Julian Krinsky Esports Summer Camp is typically going to be the top result.
I wasn’t sure why they kept coming up first every time on Google even though there are so many different options. But after digging deeper into their program, I’ve been able to see why they are considered one of the top four programs.
The Julian Krinsky Camps and Programs is a highly-regarded summer camp series that always has fantastic products. This is one of the reasons why their esports camp is ranked so highly.
One of the reasons their esports program, in particular, is so highly respected is because they have partnered with N3rd Street Gamers to design their summer camp. N3rd Street Gamers is making sure they are offering everything aspiring gamers needed.
N3rd Street Gamers is a semi-professional and amateur support network for young gamers. They provide a lot of resources and guidance for players as they prepare for a career in esports.
I think it’s fantastic that Julian Krinsky would partner with an organization as strong as this one. It just shows you their commitment to making sure they are doing everything correctly.
Together both organizations can keep each other accountable and designed programs to fit particular needs.
They are not shy about the goals behind their programs. Their summer camp is designed for esports athletes that want to compete on a high level.
With so much scholarship money and prize money available they make it a priority to improve gamers overall skills.
Their program is built around a two-week very immersive program where the participants get hands-on instruction from skilled coaches.
Their camp is designed around 3 key components
- Recreational play with professional instruction
- Interactive lecture series focusing on Career Development within the ecosystem of Esports
- Tournament training and competition
As an aspiring esports athlete or the parent of a gamer you really can’t ask for much more from an esports summer camp. These are the three things you want to be trained in the most as you prepare for a career.
You want to have the opportunity to compete against other gamers, hyper-focused career guidance and have simulated tournaments.
As we’ve already seen in our previous blogs one of the hardest parts for young gamers to adjust to is the high-stakes environment of real live tournaments.
Typical esports tournaments require you to play in front of hundreds of people which can cause a lot of pressure.
So I appreciate their effort in making sure young players have the training to prepare them for this.
They are currently offering a vast selection of video games that players can be trained in.
- Dota 2
- Rocket League
Please be aware they are not currently offering a summer camp for League of Legends. If you or your child are wanting training in that specific game, we have other camp recommendations for you later on.
Location and Dates
It’s great to see this summer camp utilize college campuses. This gives young gamers early exposure to a college campus experience.
Their camp is designed for kids between 10 and 18 years old. They run their two-week program at two different times over the summer.
The first session is July 7-20 and the second is July 21- August 3.
These dates will be here quicker than you know it. The program is now accepting early registration which will give you a discount.
Speaking of registration fees, they have two options available for payment if you want to participate in their summer camp. You can either pay a daily tuition fee of $1,310 or the full two weeks fee $4,375.
The daily fee might be more desirable if you only want to attend a few days and not the entire program.
It really does sound like a great program and one that can be very beneficial for you or your child. At the end of the day as long as you’re having fun that’s what summer camp is all about.
- Website: lavnercampsandprograms.com
- Dates: Various camps run from June-August
- Cost: $579-$609
- Location: Nationwide
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’re going to get very 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 also offer a variety of different camps depending on the game you want to play.
- League of Legends
In case you may not have noticed they do offer a League of Legends camp.
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.
They specifically have Overwatch camps in Philadelphia, Main Line PA, Lower Gwynedd PA, Cherry Hill NJ, Princeton NJ, Montclair NJ, NYC Manhattan, Long Island NY, Wilmington DE, Washington DC, Towson MD, St. Louis MO, and Los Angeles CA.
With esports being such a favorite activity nationwide it’s helpful to have so many locations 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.
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 June 23-29, Overwatch Bootcamp June 30-July 6, Girls in Gaming July 8-12
- Cost: $100-$1,599
- Location: UCI Esports Arena
As a millennial with a lot of student debt, I found this particular 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 actually attend their summer camp.
Their summer camps are relatively new but are quickly gaining traction amongst the esports community.
One of the ways 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 they have 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 run in the UCI Esports Arena.
Here are the dates for all 3 camps.
- League of Legends Bootcamp runs from June 23rd through June 29th
- Overwatch Bootcamp runs from June 30th through July 6th
- Girls in Gaming runs from July 8th through July 12th.
The Girls in Gaming camp is not an overnight camp.
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 $1,599. There’s such a bump up in price because the cost includes all housing and meals.
Even though this camp is exclusively on the west coast in California, it’s definitely appealing to me as a parent.
I appreciate it actually 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
This was definitely one of the more unique summer camps I discovered during my research.
One of the things that makes them more unique is their particular focus on the video game Fortnite.
For those of you that don’t know Fortnite is one of the most popular esports games and is quickly taking the industry by storm. It has a massive following making camps designed around it very appealing.
Their Fortnite camp is for kids between the ages of 13 and 18. Participants can be beginners or experts.
Their camp is so unique because they focus on video streaming and the actual video production side of esports.
Streaming is one of the more profitable aspects of esports athletes. It’s how a lot of professionals support themselves.
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 stream and how to do it successfully.
During the first week of camp, the participants will learn how to play Fortnite and how to plan strategies. They’ll also compete against fellow gamers.
The second week of the program will specifically focus on streaming and video production. The participants will spend time looking at successful streamers and what they do to gain such a huge following.
Instructors will teach them how to build positive communities and engage the audience.
At the end of the program, their goal is for these young gamers to have the tools to create their own successful streaming program.
It’ll be interesting to see if any future world-famous players emerge from this program.
These video editing skills are excellent to have for any future career. Video production skills are universal and can be used in a variety of careers.
They only offer camps for Fortnite.
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.
There’s not a lot of excuses you can use not to attend any esports summer camp.
They have camps designed for just about every game, and they have camps throughout the country. If the only thing holding you back is financial reasons, then please contact the camp organizers.
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 try getting out there and meeting 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.