Many had expected to spend the quarantine playing video games, but online learning turned out to be just as challenging as regular studies. ITMO University, however, has found the best way to have your cake and eat it, too: now, students can receive points to go towards their physical education grades by playing video games alongside their peers and taking part in online competitions.
Starting from the middle of March, ITMO University, like many others, moved all classes online. Physical education and sports classes, too, are conducted remotely. The university’s sports club called KronBars offers several types of online P.E. classes, among which are esports competitions.
Students can take part in esports webinars or study the tactics and strategies of online gaming. To receive one’s pass grade, a student must accumulate 100 points. Points can be earned in two ways: by joining a league, where points correspond to the time spent in-game, or trying their hand at weekly tournaments where players earn points based on their position in the leaderboard. There are currently three leagues, one for each game: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, and Clash Royale. ITMO University’s Rector Vladimir Vasilyev was the first to appreciate the advantages of this approach.
ITMO University has been pioneering esports among Russian educational institutions introducing Russia’s first-ever scholarship for cyberathletes in 2018.
It is not decided yet whether the practice of earning points for physical education by means of playing video games will remain after the quarantine but ITMO University’s esports club is definitely getting more popular.