Esports in the Classroom – Hands on Workshops for Schools

Esports in the Classroom – Hands on Workshops for Schools

Digital Natives Academy (DNA), a Rotorua based non-profit has teamed up with Riot Games, one of the largest gaming companies in the world to launch an innovative well-being and esports education programme.

Techweek 2019

To celebrate this partnership, and help put some shizzle into Techweek 2019, Digital Natives Academy and Riot Games will co-deliver 3 types of workshops (for teachers, parents & students). Alongside the workshops, we are running a competitive esports tournament with a $10k prize pool.

Class Workshop Overview

DNA and Riot Games have co-designed a programme using League of Legends which introduces teachers and students to esports and the concept of high performance mindsets and helps young people understand the impact of positive behaviour on overall well-being. Together they will deliver key messages on mental health, respectful relationships, sportsmanship and resilience via a series of innovative workshops.

Who is this workshop for?

  • Intermediate, High School Classes (students aged over 13)
  • Teachers, Teacher Aids, educators who want a hands on workshop on how to actively engage with students and prepare them to use a high performance mindset

Guest Speakers

Ivan Davies | Riot Games

Riot Games’ Social Play and Community Manager, Ivan Davies will be flying in from their Sydney HQ to share his insights as a former teacher and lead on the new Learn with League initiative, which has been designed to help young people, parents, and teachers explore how League of Legends can provide a structure to collaboratively learn and prepare for life. This is the first of its kind partnership in NZ.

Andy “Cupcake” van der Vyver | Chiefs Esports Club

Andy “Cupcake” van der Vyver is a professional esports player and coach.  Before playing esports professionally Andy was in the US on a tennis scholarship.  Andy went on to compete at the highest levels of esports and has represented OCE internationally. He now coaches for the Chiefs Esports Club. Andy will share his personal and professional experiences working as a player and coach and discuss the similarities and differences between sports and esports.


School teachers will be present in each session, acting as the team’s coach. Support staff from Riot Games and Nativez Esports will be on hand to train teachers in facilitating high performance training – not just for the duration of the workshop, but hopefully for future activities back at school.


High performance preparation

This section mirrors the targeted high performance preparatory activities that professional teams carry out as part of their training. Students will apply high performance concepts in their pregame communications:

  • Applying sportsmanship concepts in the context of high performance training;
  • Developing communication skills, understanding their importance for victory;
  • Collaboratively developing an in-game strategy.

League of Legends game

Students will have the chance to apply high performance concepts in-game, executing their in-game strategy in a full game against another high school team:

  • Compete against another high school team;
  • Receive support in applying high performance concepts from an observer.

Post-game analysis

Like the preparation segment of the workshop, students will mirror professional teams by conducting a post-game analysis.

  • Discuss and reflect on the game’s outcome;
  • Discuss the high performance concepts applied, supported by a coach.


  • School teams will leave with better recognition of the value of sportsmanship and an understanding of how mentality affects behaviour and performance.
  • Students will gain a clearer understanding of the pathways that exist within the digital tech industries and will know what key steps are needed to achieve these goals.
  • Teachers will better understand how they can help guide and support students in online spaces

One school per workshop – we can come to you or you are welcome to come to DNA.

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