Education and gaming are two things we don’t often think could meet, in fact, they’re often not even thought of in the same landmass. It used to be that concepts like gaming and education were so far separated they were thought to be alien to each other, with a limited likeness and even more limited ways to compliment each other. The RGB Gaming Centennial Invitational which took place over the weekend showcased why we were all so wrong.
The RGB Gaming Centennial Invitational took place on Saturday the 9th of April and its aim was to utilise Minecraft Education in an esports fashion to show, not only how gaming and education meet, but also how we can meld these two concepts together to create a unique, fun, and exhilarating experience.
The inaugural Centennial Invitational took place at Centennial School Sunninghill where teams were pitted against each other in Minecraft Education Edition, where they were tasked with completing challenges and overcoming obstacles faster than their pitted rivals to complete the level. The day comprised a double elimination system where the winners would take home a grand prize to the value of R15 000.
We caught up with ScadCo CEO, Mitchell Struwig, who spoke about what its subsidiary RGB Gaming is all about, its partnership with Centennial, as well as where RGB Gaming is heading in the future, he said:
“RGB and Centennial have a shared vision when it comes to gaming and education and how they meet, so it made sense for us to partner with them on this event. Today is the inaugural Centennial Invitational event and the goal is to create a sustainable league and create more tournaments to expose different schools to what’s possible and inspire them, and that esports has a benefit to students, the schools, and the whole ecosystem.
Our goal as RGB Gaming is to create sustainable e-sports programmes in education.”
We then wanted to find out why choose educational esports over traditional esports and where RGB Gaming fits into this idea.
“If you look at our past, we evolved from a school software company to a school tech partner and so the natural progression for this afterward was expanding on tech and how it works within the education industry. We have quite a large team of esports and gaming enthusiasts so that also meshes together.”
Following this we also caught up with Jaco Sauer, the General Manager of RGB Gaming, who stated:
“We at RGB Gaming not only believe that esports in all schools is elevatable and inherently part of future education, but also that we are pioneering what this will look like. Schools like Centennial Schools share our vision on this cutting-edge educational view.
As part of the programme we focus on the responsibility that we have to educate and guide our children with the required tools to face this world while ensuring that we expose them to the real-life, workspace skills built using our programs. Today showcases many of the facets of esports but the engagement and excitement of both students and parents today speak more words than what I can say.”
We also caught up with centennial technology partner ASUS South Africa, where we spoke to Marce Bester who is a PR Representative for the company.
“Education is one of our major focuses and bringing good hardware to the education market through computers, laptops, screens, and any other beneficial systems. We have a focus on innovation throughout everything that we do which is about bringing the best hardware to people.
We aim to help in teaching kids how to interact with technology in a healthy way, better preparing them for the future where almost all jobs will interact with technology on some level. This is especially beneficial at a foundational phase of a human being, which is why Centennial is doing such awesome stuff and I am so impressed with what I saw today.”
It’s at this point you might be wondering what Minecraft Education is and what makes it so different? Glad you asked. Minecraft Education Edition is a separate title to the traditional Minecraft builder and is aimed at learners in schools and universities in order to “prepares students for the future, building future-ready skills like creativity, problem-solving, and systems thinking, and nurturing a passion for play”. As part of the day, RGB Gaming incorporated a Microsoft Education and Buzzbotics area for spectators to participate in the exciting events of the day.
RGB Gaming and Centennial Schools took this concept and thought about how they could interpret this into an esports setting and so the Centennial Invitational was born. The tournament was filled with excitement from the early morning with students practising as much as they could in between challenges, preparing for their moment on stage. As the day ticked on there was discernible electricity in the air each time the winners of the previous round would face the next challenge, with shouts of triumph that grew ever louder each time a team secured their spot in the next round.
A nail-biting finale was held between The Sims and The Centennial Frogs where players were tasked once more with facing the definitive obstacle of the day. Surprisingly, this final match came in at the last second as all seemed decided in the game before, but due to the double-elimination requirement, one more match was needed.
The final was set, the tension in the air was thick, and both teams drew in all their focus in this final showdown. In what seemed like an absolute flash, The Sims seemed to snatch the victory as fast as the round had begun, with deafening screams of victory echoing through the room, as The Sims elated in their triumph over The Centennial Frogs to take home the grand prize, and the title of Centennial Invitational champions.
For more information about Centennial Schools, you can check them out here.
If you would like to see more about RGB Gaming and their exciting school esports initiatives, you can find their website here.
You can watch the full stream below, and follow the RGB Gaming YouTube channel here.