Page 14 - Campus Technology, January/February 2020
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ESPORTS rhea kelly
8 Ways to Get Started with Esports
If you’ve been looking to get involved in esports on campus, either in the classroom or in competition, these tips and resources will help.
THE GLOBAL ESPORTS MARKET will generate $1.4 billion in revenue in 2020, and is growing at a rate of 26.7 percent year-over-year, accord- ing to a forecast from esports analytics firm Newzoo. That trajectory led the University of California, Irvine’s Division of Continuing Education to develop an esports management certificate program designed to help students “turn a passion for gaming into a viable career,” according to Stephane Muller, instruc- tor for the program and director of business and technology programs at the university. Delivered on the Coursera platform, the four- course specialization provides an overview of the esports industry, game development, teams and players, collegiate esports, career planning, esports management and more.
In a session at this past fall’s STEAM Week virtual conference, Muller and Henry Ngo, pro- gram manager and creator of the esports man- agement certificate program, spoke about their program and offered some tips for getting start- ed with esports on campus, from curriculum and instructional design to games and competition.
1) Talk to industry experts.
The esports industry is growing exponentially, said Ngo. And while there’s high demand for people to work in the industry, most students
don’t know a lot about the nuts and bolts of managing esports going in. Universities can help narrow that skills gap by aligning their esports programs with industry needs. When starting up the esports certificate program at UC Irvine, for example, “We started talking to industry professionals who are deep within the esports and gaming industry,” Ngo said. “We made sure that we [approached] people who had over five to 10 years of experience in this industry, so that when we do work with them, we know for sure that they are the peo- ple who will hire our students. We asked them, if a student were to come out of this program, what skills do you need them to have in order to be successful in the esports industry? We created our program around those skill sets so that our learners would have those tools to be ready for the workforce.”
The No. 1 most desired skill among esports employers: communication, Ngo said. “Busi- ness communication is crucial, especially in an online environment. Game designers, devel- opers, they may know the tech side but they might not know how to communicate with their teammates, working together on proj- ects.” In addition, other high-value skills are project management as well as an understand- ing of the business side of esports, he noted.
Photo: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

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