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Esports is defined as competitive video game playing and often played in front of spectators for a prize.
Esports can now be divided into two categories: Professional vs Scholastic.
Professional esports players are viewed similarly to traditional professional athletes and are regarded as celebrities. Esports in education goes far beyond "just playing video games", so College Esports focuses on four cornerstones: Community, Competition, Education & Careers, and Entertainment.
Although esports draws in crowds, the majority of the video game (gaming) community consists of casual video game players (gamers), so it is important to consider all stakeholders when building your program or event.
The first recorded video game competition was held at Stanford University back in 1972, but esports in education didn't gain steam until many years later. In 2013, game developer giant Blizzard Entertainment started hosting collegiate tournaments in their popular titles to boost user engagement and competition. Following suit, other game developers launched collegiate tournaments to also attract more players.
In 2014, Robert Morris University became the first school to introduce a varsity esports program and in 2016 University of California, Irvine became the first public university to adopt a varsity esports program and build an esports arena.
Today, students receive scholarships and compete in high school leagues and collegiate athletic conferences, educators are integrating esports and video games into their curriculum, and community leaders are developing career pathways.
The average age of esports and video game enthusiasts is between 18 and 34 years old, with the second largest demographic being under 18 years old. Schools are adopting esports to meet students where they are. In doing so, schools and universities are seeing an increase in enrollment and student engagement.
Some schools and universities offer esports as a way to reduce the technology gap and support career-building opportunities, while others offer scholarships to attract top players to gain a competitive advantage.
Esports and video game career paths extend beyond the Computer Science degree. Similar to the entertainment and traditional sports industries, a few of the more popular career paths in esports and video games are listed in the downloadable graphic below.
There are so many additional opportunities, so we invite you to contact us today to see how your current programming can align with existing esports and video game careers.
There are so many ways you can support student success!
1) Join College Esports and connect with other great folks in this space.
2) Host a College Esports workshop or event.
3) Donate to the student success fund.
4) Connect us with other organizations and leaders who want to support our cause!
Discovering career paths in the esports and video game industries.
The 4 cornerstones of esports in education support sustainable business models.