Esports FAQs

Q. What is esports
Esports also known as "electronic sports" is organized video gaming sports competition often played individually or in teams.

Q. What ages can participate?
For this initial league, players between the ages of 13-19 may participate.  Players under the age of 12 are subject to Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) guidelines and the GDS team is working to assure full compliance prior to offering U12 programs.  The goal is to launch U12 programs this summer.

Q. How do clubs participate?
All clubs will be provided a free Club Portal and tools to manage their own players.   Clubs that embrace the program can create their own leagues, tournaments, and events.  Those that do not have the resources to do so will still receive the benefits of the promotion of their club as we directly engage players to join with or without club direct engagement.

Q. What is the cost of participating in the eleague?
Our summer program until August 1, 2020 is free for all members.  After August 1, the registration cost of participating in our esports programs is $10.00/year for intramural gamers, $15.00/year for extramural gamers, (equivalent to travel grass player), and $25.00/year elite level gamers, (equivalent to conference level players).

Q. What is the GDS Platform?
The GDS Platform is supported by GYO Score and is an online gaming community platform that is built to help connect players with gaming opportunities, leagues, esports scholarships, and more. Unlike many platforms, GDS Platform is also built to allow for parental registration and oversight of child accounts in order to help parents monitor and understand their child's gaming habits and to take advantage of potential college opportunities for esports.  Because GDS is the only platform that has placed an emphasis on child safety and parental involvement, your State Association selected GDS as our official vendor to help facilitate online gaming leagues for our players to participate during downtime from soccer.  

Q. What is a Club Portal?
Through this program, all State Soccer Clubs are welcome to create Club Portals which are like online hangouts for your children.  When a child joins these Club Portals, their participation is verified by a Club administrator so that only registered club players are able to participate in the program and communicate with the other registered players.  Within the Club portal, the players may share their gamer connection information and communicate with one another about video games and esports safely.  Instead of connecting players to random people around the world you do not know, the Club Portals give you a space where you can feel assured that the online communications are occurring between children of similar ages who are also members of the registered soccer community. For further safety and security, all messages and communications that occur on the platform are accessed and monitored by Club administrators and professional adults who will enforce a strict code of civility, decorum and appropriate discussions.

While on the GDS platform and within the Club Portals, your child will likely participate in two key types of activity:  Self-driven Gameplay and League Gameplay. In self-driven activity, the players will communicate among themselves and may schedule play activities that occur in their games.  For League Gameplay, an administrator representing the Clubs or the state association will create an online gameplay league structure that mirrors the grass soccer league structure. Players will be assigned a designated opponent and be scheduled to play against them at specific times, and then they will report the scores directly to the platform.  In addition to being a fun competition, we believe this is an opportunity to help teach the players responsibility and accountability, as players are required to manage their own schedules and report their own scores.  Failure to do so would result in forfeits and negative consequences, including removal from the league.

We all know that our children are going to have screen time at home - we aim to create positive, competitive, safe and social league play experiences to help make sure a significant amount of that screen time is productive. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask for additional assistance!

Q. How do I sign up my child to participate in the esports program?
Signing up is easy! Simply HERE and select the appropriate league for your child based on age and gaming console, then click "Join" and fill out the information.

Q. Do kids play in respective age groups?
The introductory pilot league splits up participants into different age groups: (13 - 15 years old), (16 - 17 years old), (18 - 19 years old), Players under the age of 12 are subject to Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) guidelines and the GDS team is working to assure full compliance prior to offering U12 programs.  The goal is to launch U12 programs this summer.

Q. What are the benefits of playing esports?
There is a wide range of benefits for children who participate in measured video gaming including, cognitive development, social engagement, and the development of motor skills. Please follow this link for more information: Must point to the benefits of esports web page.

Q. Are games children friendly and non-violent?
We do not offer violent games. Our league offers non-violent FIFA 20 games to complement kids' soccer development on the grass field as well as in the digital space.  

Q. Who does my child play against?
The GDS Platform allows kids to safely play esports games with kids in their current soccer club as well as other clubs affiliated with your State Soccer Association. Our league offers a fun & safe digital environment where children represent their clubs while competing against their peers, (people you know) from clubs they compete with on the grass leagues.

Q. Can clubs create their own esports tournaments in which our membership can participate?
The answer is yes, the tool allows you to create and manage your own leagues and tournaments however you would like to do so.  This is similar to the "Rec" model - “intramural” where your players will be playing amongst each other.

Q. Do you provide copies of the video games?
No, we do not provide copies of any games, they must be purchased and owned by the players.

Q. Is there a coaches league or adult league that parents can participate in?
Yes!  There is great desire among coaches, referees & adults to participate in a community league among themselves. We see this as a great opportunity to enhance the coaching fraternity and to further engagement in the overall soccer community.

Q. When does the first league begin?
Please visit our esports portal to see all of the available leagues and tournaments.

Q. As a club can we run our own leagues?
Absolutely. The platform is built to allow you to promote your own leagues and events, and the kids themselves can also self-organize if they wish to do so.  For example, if your kids want to find out information about their teammates' Fortnite gamertags, they may send messages or use the chat boards to get that information.  As an organizer, you can be active or you can be passive and let the kids communicate with each other!

Q. The system is prompting me to download Discord, should I?
The Discord ID is optional for players that have it, and is NOT required to participate in any leagues.

Q. How do I set up a match versus my opponent in FIFA 20 for XBox?
How to setup a match versus your opponent in FIFA 20

Start up FIFA 20 on your console

Navigate to the online tab 

Select “online friendlies” 

Select “new friendly season”

Select your opponents gamer tag and invite them. 

 Under the settings tab ensure the following settings are applied before starting your match: 

Half Length: 15 minutes

Controls: Any

Game Speed: Normal

Squad Type: 85 overall

HAVE FUN!!