Why educational institutions should develop Esports programs – and how to start
The author of this article is Matthew Wang, Columbia University Esports Club President
Esportshas seen a meteoric rise in the sports and entertainment industry for the past ten years, and it shows no sign of slowing down. According toBusiness Insider, the“total Esports viewership is expected to grow at a 9% compound rate (CAGR) between 2019 and 2023, up from 454 million in 2019 to 646 million in 2023…That puts the Esports audience on pace to nearly double over a six-year period, as the 2017 audience stood at 335 million,”putting Esports as theeighth or ninth most viewed sport in the world. With the viewership demographic dominated byteenagers and adults aged 16-24, schools and universities should adopt this trend to help students learn, grow, and seek opportunities in this fast-paced industry.
Esports are creating many more jobs –from 2018 to 2019, job opportunities increased 185%– and companies are looking for talent to fill these new openings. One example is the newly launched TSMU Esports program, which aims to partner with students attending university to recruit and foster talent. The program will “在TSM组织内提供实习项目和令人垂涎的职业机会，学生现在可以学习和连接数十亿美元的全球电子竞技产业，以一种更直接和有意义的方式，让他们有机会发展技能和网络，为未来的职业机会铺平道路。” TSM, a renowned Esports team based in North America, is just one of many examples of the growing demand for people in Esports. Game developers likeActivision Blizzard, EA, and Riot Games and technology companies like Twitch, Corsair, and Logitech都在寻找有电子竞技经验的人。这些工作只会变得越来越受欢迎，很快就会成为一个非常合法的职业路径。从成为一个成熟的电竞团队的玩家经纪人和团队经理，到为AAA游戏开发和平衡玩法，电竞产业创造的工作岗位是无穷无尽的。
Teaching students and building character
Esports isn’t just a way for students to earn future career opportunities. Like any degree, it won’t guarantee to land a job in the future. However,Esports provides so much more than just possible employment. Like sports, Esports is a great way to build a community and teach students life lessons and skills. Competitively, students need to spend many hours a day building team chemistry, come up with revolutionary and unique strategies, and build mental fortitude to succeed in tournaments. Administratively, students will need to learn anything from creating an Esports organization. For example, from running weekly events, managing the team, learning how to market, running tournaments, contacting rival schools for participation, and finding sponsors. They will also need tobuild a communitywhere students can bond together and create lasting friendships. Unlike other extracurricular activities, since Esports programs are in such a young and early stage, students are at the forefront of developing the scene. Not only are they heavily involved in building Esports from the ground up, but the students are alsosucceedingin doing so.
Current scholastic Esports programs
Many schools around the United States and the globe have already recognized the flourishing Esports industry. They have already started to make their move to coalesce Esports into their school. In the United States, many colleges are implementing school-backed varsity teams with scholarship opportunities.This list includes schools like the University of California – Irvine, Maryville University, and Miami University-Oxford.The road doesn’t stop there either. Many colleges have also added Esports-related majors and degrees likeOhio State University, Becker College, and the University of Texas Arlingtonin the USA, and theUniversity of Chichester, Staffordshire University, and Nottingham Trent University in the UK. Furthermore, Oxford University is working with Tencent – the owner of Riot Games – “to host tournaments and offer courses to students to increase the profile of Esports and foster talent.”
Would you like to learn more about effective strategies to develop an Esports program in your school?Find the second part of this article inside our世界杯2022赛程时间表最新.
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