A dozen members of Shenandoah University’s esports program explored the sport’s global reach during an October Global Experiential Learning trip to Ireland. Shenandoah is home to one of the first academic esports programs in the U.S., with undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs in esports management as well as varsity-level esports competition teams.
The students and faculty traveled from Virginia to work Dublin GamerFest, visit Riot Games’ Remote Broadcast Center in Dublin, and learn more about esports on both international and regional levels.
Coordinator of Esports and Esports Competition Alyssa Duran said the trip began at Belfast Metropolitan College, where students from Shenandoah and Belfast Met connected over their interest in esports and hopes to work in the industry post-graduation. “During this visit, the Shenandoah students were able to learn about the professional esports scene in Ireland with an interesting conversation with WYLDE Co-founder and CEO Steve Daly.”
The next day, in Dublin, the group visited Riot Games’ Remote Broadcast Center, where it received a behind-the-scenes tour of the space and insight into the live production of League of Legends Worlds (as well as a chance to participate in a watch party). “After the tour, students were able to meet one-on-one with these professionals to ask questions and learn about their work,” she said.
The students also volunteered for two days at GamerFest Dublin, which is Ireland’s biggest gaming and esports festival, working in a variety of game centers and getting hands-on experience regarding hosting a major esports event, Duran said. “This was a wonderful experience for our students to expand their knowledge of esports in Ireland and connect with others in the space,” she added. “Thank you to Kate Ely and Adam Field from IRL Esports Tours for helping put this amazing trip together!”