BCE schools go head-to-head at annual eSport Gala Days


eSport Gala Day North Brisbane winners: Southern Cross Catholic College Scarborough Team 2.​​

Parents can rest assured – screen time can be a very productive part of a child’s education. 

So productive that Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) has made an annual eSports Gala Day to test students from across its schools. 

The Gala Days, held on Monday 19 and Wednesday 21 June, highlight the positive aspects of technology and gaming, fostering teamwork, collaboration, and strategic thinking similar to traditional sports.  

Coordinator Nathan Richards says students experience the same sense of competition, camaraderie, and dedication as other sports events. The competitive nature of eSports challenges their stamina and mental agility. 

These are the second annual eSports gala days for BCE schools with northern students having competed at Southern Cross Catholic College at Redcliffe and southern students at Beenleigh’s Trinity College. 

“What sets the eSports Gala Day apart is its strong focus on curriculum integration,” Mr Richards said. 

“Unlike other competitions that solely prioritise gaming, this event combines the excitement of eSports with educational objectives. It allows students to engage with technology meaningfully, aligning it with their learning goals. 

“The gala demonstrates how gaming can be a catalyst for learning, empowering students to apply their existing skills and knowledge in a field they are passionate about.” 

The eSports Gala Day was established to maintain connection and engagement among students during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Initially, the event focused on physical representations of learning, but it has evolved into a digital technology-driven experience with an emphasis on game design using Minecraft Education. 

Minecraft Education, known for its versatility and educational value, is the game of choice for BCE. As the organisation's supported enterprise game, Minecraft Education provides a sandbox gaming experience that helps students build and contextualise their understanding of various subjects, making it suitable for different grade levels. 

Throughout the year, students work on game content creation as part of their curriculum, specifically focusing on the Digital Technologies curriculum and becoming game designers. Brisbane Catholic Education provides support to both teachers and students in the process of game design, including the teaching of Minecraft Education World Creation principles: narrative; building and features; functions; and mechanics. 

The culmination of their efforts is the submission of their games, from which the top games are selected for the Gala Day.  

The event is organised separately for schools in the northern and southern regions of Brisbane, with an arena-style setup that includes sound and lighting to provide an authentic gaming experience. 

Beyond gaming, the eSports Gala Day offers students the opportunity to explore careers and opportunities related to eSports.  

Students are allowed to contribute to the event's management, production, network setup and commentary. It serves as a networking platform for students, allowing them to connect with like-minded individuals and develop new skills in areas they’re interested. 

“The positive response from students to the eSports Gala Day has been remarkable,” Mr Richards said. 

“Last year's event was a valuable learning experience, and this year was even better.  

“Students appreciate the opportunity to showcase their Digital Technologies skills and passion, gaining a sense of accomplishment and recognition in a field that may not be traditionally associated with sports.” 

The eSports Gala Day exemplifies Brisbane Catholic Education’s commitment to providing innovative and engaging learning experiences.  

By integrating technology, gaming, and curriculum, the gala day highlights the positive impact of technology in education. It empowers students to explore their interests, develop new skills, and connect with peers who share their passion for technology and gaming. 

At this week’s eSports Gala Days, 130 students from 16 BCE schools competed in Minecraft games in 26 teams for the title of E-sports champions. 

Winner - North competition 

Southern Cross Catholic College Scarborough - Team 2  

Runner up- North competition 

St Columban's College Caboolture Team 2 

Winner - South competition 

St Thomas More College Sunnybank Team 1 

Runner up – South competition 

McAuley College Beaudesert Team 1​

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