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October 2021: Mainstage Gaming Newsletter

Mainstage Gaming Network publishes a monthly update to our community and we are eager to hear your feedback. Please email to share suggestions or request information and for support requests.

Summary / TL;DR:
October was packed with big wins for Mainstage! We have analyzed significant amounts of data from our high school students which is helping shape the landscape of offerings for middle & high school programs. We launched a new casting & streaming program for the MCEA and our league structure is gaining significant traction in the industry. Finally, we are proud to announce that Mainstage Gaming Network has been accepted as a member company of the SCRA!

  1. High School Leagues: We have received a significant amount of requests for more insights into the GenZ gaming demographic — we dug deep while protecting our users, enjoy fellow data nerds!
  2. MCEA: Collegiate competition is heating up as teams are geared up for the back half of our season.
  3. Mainstage Gaming Company: We’ve been accepted into the SCRA!

High School League

In our last post, we published a few insights from our high school data. Our data was based on 1,000+ high school gamers across NC and SC. We were bombarded with requests for more data and insights into the GenZ gaming demographic and while we won’t reveal everything, we have plenty of interesting nuggets to share— but first, a quick look at our leaderboard:

1. Nation Ford
2. Fort Mill
3. YPA
4. Powdersville
5. Laurens
6. Ridge View
7. Swansea
8. Brookland Cayce
9. Dorman
10. St Annes
11. SC Whitmore
12. Brashier
13. Pelion
14. Hilton Head
15. Christ Church
16. Chester
17. Walnut Grove
18. Phillip O Barry
19. North Forsyth

One interesting storyline this season is Dorman High School (9). They started the season late due to a hangup on approval for joining the Mainstage league and missed an entire two weeks of competition (two weeks of points down the drain). Even with the setback, they have quickly bounced from 19th place into the top-10! We are excited to watch the last half of this season, praise the inevitable upsets, see who starts challenging for those top-5 spots!

Data Dump
Mainstage has a student population breakdown of:
9th — 37%, 10th — 26%, 11th — 19%, 12th — 18%

The hands-down most popular game among students: Minecraft.

This may answer why our creative event category jumped 46% — only falling behind the overwhelming interest in more local opportunities:

“What event types are you interested in?”

  • Local/in my area: +90.51% from season 1
  • Creative events: +46.03% from season 1

This could be explained through the impacts of the pandemic. Community-centered games like Minecraft, Roblox, GTA5, and Animal Crossing took off during and post-pandemic as they carried more socialized playing styles.

Tools like Discord and Twitch also benefited from the lockdowns, each going on a tear during the pandemic. When we asked high school students what other platforms they use while gaming or to enhance their experience, our results matched the trends:

  • 94% of students use Discord
  • 64% of students use YouTube
  • 30% of students use Reddit
  • Xbox Clubs and PlayStation Community were both <20% at 18% and 15% respectively
  • Rounding out the bottom were TeamSpeak and Facebook Groups at 4% and 2% respectively

Maybe that name change and metaverse refocus is a good thing for Facebook as the company seems entirely nonexistent in the gamerverse..

And with all this ridiculous growth over the past two years it makes sense to see a mirroring rise in career interest:

  • Gaming/esports internship opportunity interest: +74.42%
  • Gaming/esports employment opportunity interest: +74.62%

This last data point leads us to our collegiate updates where we have been excited to expand career opportunities for high school students beyond competing.


We are at the midpoint of the first season in MCEA history! Through this season we have seen coaches change, new universities start their esports programs, and national champions have been rivaled by new up and coming teams.

Week 6 standings in the MCEA North (left) and South (right) Divisions

We stream every match of the MCEA on the Mainstage official Twitch account, and if you are following us there, you have probably heard a slew of new casters and streamers that have joined the crew. We are extremely thankful for these volunteers and how they have brought diversity and excitement to our streams! We are also thrilled to share that streaming and competition operations are now an option for high school students to gain experience in their careers and additional scholarship opportunities. Our colleges in the MCEA and others that are joining the MCEA next season have communicated an additional emphasis on needing more than just the players to run their programs. Understandable, as every sport needs more hands than just players on the team. And our high school students want as many opportunities to be a part of gaming in college as possible — but it is having impacts in other areas of development as well:

“Casting is an awesome experience. You get to see and discuss the game on such an in-depth point of view while getting to see amazing teams compete…
… I have previous problems with public speaking and this has had an impact on that. It strongly helps my confidence.”
pastel_warrior96, high school caster

“I feel like casting has improved my ability to clearly speak and describe situations as well as improve my vocabulary. On a teamwork level it helps you learn to work alongside someone effectively, especially if you are more introverted.” — Xiria, Sophomore at Wilson High School

We are proud to begin filling this relatively new, but large gap in our industry and couldn’t be more thankful for our collegiate casting & streaming team!

Mainstage Company Update

We are excited to announce that we have been accepted into the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) as a member company!

The SCRA was chartered in 1983 as a non-profit that fuels South Carolina’s innovation economy. In 2006 the SCRA established SC Launch, an independent non-profit which provides grants, loans, and investments to selected South Carolina-based companies. Once SC Launch companies receive any form of investment, they become an SCRA portfolio company.

A formal announcement and press release will be executed by the SCRA and The State media company.

This partnership will allow us to access incredible networks in the Carolinas as well as direct mentorship from members of the Board of Trustees, such as — Dr. James Clements, President of Clemson University
— Peter G. Dunphy, CFO of Michelin North America
— Ms. Lou Kennedy, CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals
— Dan Rundle, CEO of Worthwhile
— Jason Elliot, Representative, House of Representatives

These are just a few members of a board that is filled to the brim with leaders in corporate, academic, and government organizations. We are honored and extremely grateful to be accepted as a member company!

Mainstage Community

If you haven’t already, follow us on our socials or join our discord below! We are running:

  • Giveaways: gaming gear, game passes, swag, crypto, skins, DLC, and more
  • Tournaments: play with and against the Mainstage community
  • Casting and Moderating: opportunities to hop on-stream with us for various esports matches

We are so thankful for our team! And we are still growing! Follow us on LinkedIn to see job opportunities. Most immediately, we are looking for Streamers and Competition Managers to work with organizations in different regions and support their gaming events and leagues.

Stay in Touch:



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