I’d probably never join a corporate softball league. Why? Because I’m garbage at softball.
How do I know? Well, for one, I’ve never played softball – and for two, the last time I thought it was a good idea to head back to the batting cages (probably the first time since I was a kid), I left there looking like a complete jackass with sore wrists.
Y’know what I am pretty good at though, video games. And the CEA (or Corporate Esports Association) aims to use esports as “a modern take on the traditional company softball league”, and thinks that companies that game together – work together. Sign me up, baby!
In a new writeup from The Washington Post, the CEA (and esports in general)’s impact on professional development programs at companies such at IBM, Walmart, and General Motors were highlighted.
IBM now has more than 500 members in its esports community, with some competing in CEA and others playing more informally. For junior IBM employees like software engineer Alek Mieczkowski, who began working at the company shortly before the pandemic, IBM esports have been particularly helpful for networking and cross-team collaboration.
“Especially during covid, the connections I’ve made have been really important,” Mieczkowski said. Although he is working at home from North Carolina, he forged a close friendship with a colleague based in Ontario, Canada through IBM’s “Valorant” team. “Now we talk almost every day,” he said, “and this never would have happened without our gaming community.”Can esports make you more productive at work? IBM, Walmart and others think yes. – The Washington Post
CEA offers services ranging from private in-house teambuilding events to full inter-company esports leagues for games such as Valorant, CS:GO, Call of Duty, and more. They also host corporate esports tournaments for charity. Why wouldn’t you want to implement more gaming at work?
As someone who has a corporate 9-5 and games quite a bit, I can honestly say that I’d love to see this implemented at work. I’d be much more inclined to attend a 5pm “happy hour” if it was gaming and drinks, and not just another round of Zoom trivia.
Gaming being the unlikely hero of this pandemic by keeping corporate teams together while they work remote – you love to see it.