Esports minor will offer management skills for students

Izzy ManzoPhoto Editor

With the Undergraduate Curriculum Forum approving the development of an Esports minor, Southern is joining a growing number of colleges in the United States that are offering students a chance to join what CBS is calling a “cultural phenomenon.”

According to Business Insider, the Esports industry was expected to make $1.1 billion in revenue in 2019, with most of the money in the industry being attributed to sponsorship deals and investments in advertising and marketing.

On Sept. 6, 2019, Central Connecticut State University unveiled its new Esports Center, a state of the art building dedicated to teaching students about the “academics, competition, and recreation” that encompass Esports. The University of New Haven is also one of the growing number of colleges that is offering Esports as a fullfledged major.

Describing the program as one that will “enable you to gain a well-rounded, holistic, and scientific understanding of esports and gaming,” students have the opportunity to pick between three concentrations: corruption and gambling, game studies and Esports performance and health.

The idea of a minor is more feasible to work with based on UNH’s description of their concentrations on their website, which promises to teach students “to evaluate how competitors are coerced to behave corruptly” or “how to analyze games for dimensions of social responsibility,” it appears to me that an Esports minor could easily be paired with a computer science or business management major. Even though the Esports industry is not a dying one, it is so new that it is also impossible to know how much weight a degree would actually have in the field.

Esports is a growing industry but with so much of that money coming from marketing and advertisements, some could say that having a separate program, even though in most cases the major is within a college’s business program, is too specific to be applied to a job that’s in any other field.

However, I think that a minor gives students more freedom to choose what to do within Esports. With the minor becoming a part of Southern’s Department of Recreation, Tourism, and Sport Management, it allows for the possibility of the minor taking on a management angle, giving students the insight needed to create, organize and market esports tournaments.

Implementing a minor also allows Southern to provide a little more of a cushion by combining Esports with a more established and universal program. Developing the program with an emphasis on working with business and marketing and health can also create a unique and possibly rewarding career for a person who has a genuine interest in tournaments.

Photo Credit: Izzy Manzo

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