“Imagine playing ‘League of Legends,’ ‘Valorant’ or ‘Overwatch’ with your co-workers,” said Brad Tenenholtz, co-founder of the CEA. All three games he lists are team based, requiring strategic coordination to achieve a common goal. “You’d better be communicating really well with those colleagues, or you’ll be left in the dust.”
The CEA hosts season-long esports tournaments that pit employees from one company against another’s in what Tenenholtz describes as a unique form of corporate team building. Instead of trust falls and personality tests, colleagues bond while playing popular games like “League of Legends,” “Rocket League,” and “Overwatch.” And with many Americans working from home as a result of covid-19, the CEA is enjoying its most successful season yet, with participants from more than 150 different companies including Walmart, IBM, General Motors and Amazon.
“More companies are realizing that competitive gaming is a meaningful activity that provides a very serious value-add,” Tenenholtz said.
But how exactly do esports impact office productivity and collaboration? According to a host of gamers working at some of the country’s largest companies, the benefits are surprisingly numerous.
For Michael Flores, a client technical leader at IBM who organized the company’s internal gaming community, esports’ primary professional impact is simple: it shapes how employees view themselves within the context