Category: Education

Esports Earns Spot in University of North Carolina Greensboro’s Curriculum

Ed Tech: “The course titles speak for themselves: Introduction to Esports Management. Esports, Meeting and Event Tourism. Tournaments: Design to Execution. Hype, Engagement and Sponsorship.”

“Last spring, UNCG officials celebrated the opening of a campus esports arena by gathering at the facility and inspecting the new state-of-the-art equipment. Joined by members of the university’s student gaming and esports club, they took in the venue’s 3,300 square feet of space and watched as players battled opponents in games like League of Legends and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.”

“This arena was designed to be a great place for students to game and blow off steam,” Sutton, UNCG associate vice chancellor for learning technology and customer success, says. “But more than that, it’s part of our larger vision for esports programming on the academic side of things.”

“That vision, he explains, includes two initiatives in particular: a noncredit six-course digital certificate program and an esports management concentration. Designed to give students in-demand skills they can use to land jobs in the industry, the courses cover everything from esports history to how to negotiate professional player contracts.”


Academics & Esports Blend At Utah State University

USU: “Esports are gaining popularity as a spectator sport, and college sports programs are taking notice. Utah State University is taking this opportunity to combine esports and academics through an expanding undergraduate curriculum and growing competitive esports club.”

“We have two classes in esports. The first one is casual esports, where students can come and play games, but they study how they feel inside the game … and also we teach another esports class called developmental esports, where we try to develop students’ skills in certain types of games,” said Ramy Shabaan, an assistant professor of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at USU.

“Andrew Walker, the department head of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at USU, said esports has put the university in a unique position to blur the lines between recreation and academics.”

“Esports is certainly a growing space, especially in academia, where we’re still trying to work through what this looks like,” Walker said. “I really love our structure here at Utah State University; it’s a collaborative venture between campus recreation as a club sport, and also with our academic unit. And we both have interesting roles to play.”

Youth Esports League Expanding to High Schools

The Journal: “Youth esports organization Vanta Leagues has announced it will expand its programming to include high school students beginning this fall, raising the maximum player age to 18 from 14, making Vanta’s free esports set-up guide and league organization structure accessible at no cost to high schools nationwide.”

“Vanta recently partnered with STEM Fuse, a provider of STEM-based digital curriculum to 15,000 U.S. schools whose new esports curriculum includes resources from Vanta Leagues. Schools can use STEM Fuse’s free start guide to quickly start teams and even regional leagues using their own coaches and curriculum; Vanta Leagues offers subscription plans for schools that include team coaching, scheduling, logistics, and more.”

“Currently, Vanta is open to students ages 8–14. Vanta Leagues emphasizes a team-based, holistic environment through their “kid-safe gamer platform, teaching the next generation of gamers how to become outstanding citizens,” the company said.”

High School Student Signs Esports Scholarship

CBS: “History was made at Enterprise High School as the first Wildcat ever recently signed an esports college scholarship.”

“Daultyn Bradley is the captain of the Wildcats’ Rocket League team, the top team in the state. This fall, Bradley will attend the University of Montevallo.”

“I joined the team with the intentions of finding a hobby to do and maybe making some new friends,” Bradley said. “I would have never envisioned that it would have carried me this far to the point where I’m getting a scholarship to go to a university for esports.”

Colorado Aiming For Half Its Schools To Have Esports Team

CPR: “The state’s high school athletics authority has ambitious plans to expand esports into half of Colorado high schools. Rashaan Davis, who oversees esports for the Colorado High School Activities Association, said this year’s season is the busiest yet.”

“The growing popularity of esports gaming has fueled dozens of professional leagues across the globe. Revenue-wise, the industry is exceeding expectations, with figures crossing the ten-figure threshold in 2020, according to some reports. And it may soon be legitimized on the world’s biggest sporting stage, with the International Olympic Committee hiring someone to lead its foray into virtual sports.”

“There are over 100 teams playing multiple titles across our state,” Davis said. “We offer League of Legends, Rocket League, Madden and [Super Smash Bros. Ultimate].” 

Esports Bachelor’s Degree Offered by University of North Dakota

AP News: “The University of North Dakota says it will be the first among the state’s postsecondary schools to offer a bachelor’s degree in competitive gaming. The school also introduced an esports coaching minor in the fall of 2020.”

“Esports is a booming industry,” said Sandra Moritz, program director and professor of kinesiology and public health education. “Competitive gaming is something that is here to stay, and there are many career areas in the field – everything from playing to coaching to broadcasting. Our program is drawing from a variety of departments to create an all-inclusive approach for this degree.”

Butler University Building 7,500 Square-Foot Esports Facility

Stories: “By the time students arrive on the Butler University campus in fall 2022, a 7,500-square-foot space dedicated to esports and technology will be ready to welcome them back.”

“With high-performance gaming PC’s and consoles, event and co-working spaces, a cafe, office areas for partner organizations, and a studio and production room, the venue will provide a hub for the tech community while expanding on Butler’s growing presence in esports.”

“We strive to be a leader in building a culture of innovation, equity, and operational excellence that supports our students and their learning—both inside and outside of the classroom,” says Dr. Frank E. Ross, Butler’s Vice President for Student Affairs. “Butler engaged our students, faculty, and staff through esports in meaningful ways—adding a new academic minor, and pivoting to adapt recruiting, planning, and event executions, as well as creative opportunities for community engagement, to advance our holistic vision for esports.”

TSU Opens Academic Esports Center For Undergraduates and Graduates

News Channel 5: “Tennessee State University is offering courses in competitive video gaming also known as eSports.”

“TSU announced Monday the campus will be getting an Academic eSports Center set to open on the main campus this fall.”

“Whether you are in preschool playing Pokemon, or you are a senior citizen playing Fortnite we try to bring in academic eSports,” Melton said, “We are behind the scenes, looking at the psychology, the technology, the innovation of game playing of entrepreneurship, managing, coaching.”

“TSU has launched esports classes and joined esports organizations and leagues that will allow students to improve their gaming skills, as well as network with tech companies.”

PlayVS Agrees to Deal With Nintendo Leading the Way For More Esports Opportunities to High School Students

Esports Insider: “North American amateur esports platform PlayVS has announced a partnership with game developer Nintendo.

“As a result of the deal, Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2 will be added to PlayVS High School Leagues in the US and Canada.”

“In total, PlayVS has secured strategic partnerships with 23 state associations and regional leagues in the US and Canada. The platform aims to provide high school players with the opportunity to compete in a series of esports titles. As of right now, PlayVS operates official, national leagues for titles such as Fortnite, FIFA, Madden, and League of Legends, among others.”

Close to 90% of Esports Scholarships go to Men

AP News: “Colleges and universities rushing to invest in the booming arena of varsity esports are overwhelmingly committing opportunities and scholarships to male players, according to data collected by The Associated Press.”

“Male gamers held 90.4% of roster spots and received 88.5% of scholarship funds in a sample of 27 public American schools surveyed by the AP during this school year. The glaring gender disparity exists even though 41% of U.S. gamers are female, according to the Entertainment Software Association, and in a realm where — unlike traditional sports — there are no physical barriers separating male and female competitors.”

“The AP’s data set covers only a small sample of the landscape. But the overwhelming results confirm what esports coaches, players and experts have identified on their own as a problem since the first varsity program launched in 2014:

As esports are carving out their place on college campuses — and doing so without a central governing body, such as the NCAA — little is being done to ensure resources are spread equally along gender lines.”