Syracuse University Holds Inaugural Virtual Esports Industry Pro Summit

first_img Published on May 19, 2020 at 1:03 am [email protected] Syracuse University wrapped up its first Virtual Esports Industry Pro Summit last week, concluding a two-week effort to enhance the school’s gaming culture and provide students with a head start in the growing industryStudents could connect with professionals from esports and related industries through panels streamed every afternoon from April 27 to May 10. Students from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, School of Information Studies and David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics could participate in hands-on activities such as research and content creation.Organized due to the coronavirus pandemic, the summit was a collaboration between SU, Microsoft and the Electronic Gaming Foundation and drew about 400,000 total viewers both on-demand and live. Syracuse’s Rocket League team also participated in the EGF Collegiate Power Series tournament, which coincided with the summit. Esports industry experts shared their professional experiences during the event. Cat Stolar, the Future-Ready Skills Lead at Microsoft’s Worldwide Education team, compared the esports industry to a traditional business. “What I mean by that,” said Stolar, who was a speaker at the Summit’s Careers and Tools panel, “is in order to grow a business, there must be people with a broad set of skills supporting its various functions.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNow that the industry is growing rapidly, there’s a greater need for people with experience in journalism, event coordination and information technologies, Stolar said. Most notably, the industry is seeing potential in data analysis and data science, based on the increased reliance on “big data” for gameplay, she said.In light of the economic hardships from COVID-19, maintaining an open mind has never been so important for college students, she said. While other industries are more unstable, the esports industry is expanding — the right mindset could lead to a job, and maybe even a career, Stolar said.“Esports provides students with a new world of opportunities in many fields,” said Olivia Stomski, director of the Newhouse Sports Media Center. “Many of our existing careers will also intersect with esports and it is important for us all to be aware and educated on the ever-changing and ever-growing business.The esports industry is projected to surpass $1.5 billion by 2023, and viewership is expected to grow to 646 million, according to Business Insider. The figure doesn’t account for how the pandemic is further accelerating the industry. Esports’ accessibility is a major part of the new industry’s growth, Stomski and Stolar said. Anyone worldwide can play, and factors such as physical location, economic differences or physical and mental challenges are unimportant, Stomski said. “We need to encourage a diverse set of students of all races, genders and backgrounds to have a seat at the table in shaping a new and growing industry, such as esports,” Stolar said.For others to understand the benefits of investing in the esports industry, it’s important to take advantage of summits like this, Stolar said. The summit demonstrated the impact of virtual events, she said, citing the 22,000 viewers who watched her panel on the first day of the summit.Sarah Weber, director of employer relations at the iSchool, said SU hopes to create similar partnerships with EGF and Microsoft in the future because these learning opportunities provide students with a unique education.“Experiential learning is an important part of a student’s academic experience at Syracuse University,” Weber said. “This is an incredible opportunity to have students from the iSchool,  Falk and Newhouse hone their skill sets, as well as demonstrate their talents, in such an exciting forum.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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