Presenting Valhallan Esports, A Game Changer in Gaming

Young gamers are flocking to thriving communities, headphones in place and ready for action, united by their shared love for gaming.

As we approach 2024, one of the most noteworthy changes in the gaming landscape is the transition from perceiving gaming as something sinister to accepting it as part of our daily life, much like any other hobby. The metamorphosis of gaming into a full-fledged profession is noteworthy, offering employment opportunities to both gamers themselves and the tireless developers who create these games. A significant factor propelling gaming towards acceptance has been its transformation into a sport, specifically esports. With their growth, esports have drawn gamers from all over the world to compete for lucrative rewards and esteemed titles, transitioning from a specialist category to a more mainstream one with each new rendition of events. The 2023 League of Legends World Championship was the most-watched esports tournament in history, attracting a live viewership of 6.4 million.

The tournament not only reignited interest in an already prominent game that was released approximately 15 years ago but also underscored the potential of achieving genuine success in the realm of professional gaming. Names like T1 and Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok may not be familiar to everyone, but they are legends in the LoL championship for securing their fourth win of the Summoner’s Cup after a short losing streak. T1, a South Korean esports organization, is among numerous businesses expanding their roster of professional gamers and gaining support for such championships. Pro gamers are being bolstered by a rapidly expanding range of businesses, much like artists find agents to promote their music and sports agencies back athletes.

The booming career paths of streamers can’t be overlooked. Many gamers find success simply by live-streaming their gameplay, showcasing their abilities on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch, and transforming their gaming into a reliable income source. Whether it’s creating game reviews or detailing the optimal character builds, almost every game that hits the market is turned into content for creators, with a large audience readily available to view such media. In many ways, the gaming industry is growing unopposed in its path to success.

While the allure of becoming a professional gamer abounds, the industry remains relatively small and has limited positions available for those with potential to become pro gamers, despite their unfiltered love for gaming. Training often involves gruelling sessions spent before a glaring screen, and livestreamers often need to remain constantly online to earn livable income from their streams. In this regard, the industry still has a long way to go before fully accommodating everyone interested in making a career out of gaming. However, while we await this inevitable shift, some organizations are working to create stable environments for these gaming talents to blossom.

Encouraging Personal Growth Through Gaming: Valhallan Esports Training

Nurturing talent is essential across every field, including esports. Many children are introduced to games from a young age, with some naturally excelling and others requiring a bit of additional support to thrive. Parents often struggle with recognizing gaming beyond the scope of a hobby, creating conflicts with their children. It is companies such as Valhallan Esports that step in at the face of parental opposition.

Valhallan Esports, headquartered in Houston, Texas, has always aimed to bridge the gap between gamers and their parents. They allow families to support their children’s passions and genuinely participate in their lives. The final career path these gamers choose may differ from where they initially start, but undergoing the process of training in a supportive environment like this one ensures they pick up life skills that guide their journey along the way.

“Valhallan Camp Hill is not your typical gaming arena. Once you step inside for the first time, you’ll see kids who had never interacted before teaming up and building friendships. There are coaches providing guidance. The level of excitement is incredible. There’s a noticeable lack of toxic behavior. That’s because Valhallan focuses on nurturing well-rounded individuals, emphasizing mental training, and incorporating a curriculum that extends beyond just gaming.”

At Valhallan’s various Arenas, gamers can discover a niche for their gaming interests and cultivate a community of like-minded individuals to be their true selves around. Alternatively, children can explore the competitive gaming world and develop the necessary skills for a fulfilling career in the sector, through the Legendary Path training program at Valhallan. David Graham, Founder and CEO at Valhallan, has kindly indulged our queries about gaming and the company’s contribution to strengthening this sector.

Technowize: We’re intrigued by the Valhallan Esport training center recently inaugurated in Pearland, Texas. What kind of training is provided here? Do you see a rising acceptance of gaming or are there still hurdles to overcome?

Valhallan’s esports approach is grounded in principles common to traditional youth sports. Our unique training curriculum, known as The Legendary Path, is conceptualized by experts and facilitated by experienced coaches. We use video games as the basis to instruct children about communication, strategic planning, teamwork, and leadership.

While some prejudice against gaming still exists, it is gradually waning as the esports industry expands and attracts players from diverse backgrounds. People are beginning to recognize the high skill levels and dedication required to excel at these games, and parents are ecstatic that their children can gain useful life skills through gaming.

With numerous college scholarships and career options available to players, gaming evidences itself as being more than just a solitary pastime. It is a gateway for children to enter into a thriving community, acquire new skills, and unlock future opportunities, all while enjoying their favorite games.

Technowize: The company emphasizes that parents can be actively involved in their children’s esports journey. What kind of reactions do you see from parents and how do you keep them actively engaged?

Parents have been overwhelmingly positive so far. Even the most skeptical ones have acknowledged that Valhallan has helped boost their children’s self-confidence, make new friends, and learn skills they might not have acquired elsewhere. We update parents regularly as their children progress through the program, and children expressing enthusiasm is one of the most recurring pieces of feedback we receive. Often it’s the children’s enthusiasm that draws the adults in.

Technowize: Even though society is becoming more supportive of esports, what are the trends among female gamers? Is the participation level equal?

Women continue to be underrepresented in the gaming community. Women and girls often feel unwelcome in the online gaming realm, and women gamers are rarely depicted in popular media. At Valhallan, we champion an inclusive and safe platform for all players, with a zero-tolerance policy for any type of harassment. We want to assure girls that gaming is an equally welcoming space for them too.

Technowize: In terms of esports, are industry rules and regulations clear-cut like other sectors, and have you seen any changes since your inception in this industry? What is it like to guide the next progression of gaming?

The esports industry, even though nascent, has seen rapid evolution in rules and legal frameworks. The industry now presents more structured rules around player contracts, intellectual property rights, and fair play, more in line with traditional sports. At Valhallan, leading the next evolution of gaming means creating an inclusive, nurturing environment where young players can develop their skills, internalize teamwork and sportsmanship. It involves molding a generation of gamers who are not only proficient at their craft but also understand what it means to be a good team player and a good person.

Technowize: We’re aware that NFL player Brandon Parker and his investment group recently became franchise owners. Do you feel that the mainstream sports industry will influence the future expansion of esports?

Professional athletes like Brandon Parker have been at the forefront in realizing the potential of esports and particularly Valhallan. They have a major part to play in the future growth of esports by extending their credibility and celebrity credentials to the field of gaming. However, I feel that these athletes relate to the values that we promote at Valhallan, which are similar to the values they have acquired through their respective sports. As parents and children recognize the value of esports training, I am confident we will see increasingly beneficial collaborations between the two realms.

Technowize: What in your view is needed for the esports industry’s continued growth? More large-scale games like Valorant and Fortnite, accelerated growth of mobile gaming, change in global attitude towards esports, or something else?

Gaming is already a multi-billion dollar industry that shows no signs of stagnating. Therefore, the growth of esports requires a change in attitudes towards gaming – a change that is already in progress as seen from the increasing professionalism of esports to the popularity of esports training. However, more can still be done, particularly by the esports industry itself to promote this change. This is why having supportive and inclusive, learning-based esports environments for youth is so critical – it shows kids and parents alike that they belong in the gaming world and that gaming can add something constructive to their lives.

Technowize: Could you share some future esports trends to watch out for in 2024?

By 2024, the growing integration of esports into educational programs will be a key trend in youth esports. Esports is now acknowledged as a valuable tool for enhancing skills like teamwork and strategic thinking. Schools are incorporating esports into their curriculums more frequently, offering students a unique blend of gaming and learning. This is a global trend, featuring prominently with the growing interest in Valhallan Esports Leagues, providing schools with a fully equipped esports program. Another significant trend for 2024 is the welfare of young gamers. The industry emphasizes the importance of a healthy balance between gaming and life, promoting physical health, responsible gaming habits, and mental well-being. This approach ensures young players grow as persons, not just gamers.

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