Welcome To The Home Of One Of The Nation’s First Academic Esports Programs!
We at Shenandoah are proud innovators in merging academics with needs in the larger economy, and we recognize the growing power of the esports industry, which is projected to be valued at $1.4 billion by 2020.
That’s why we’ve decided to offer the first multi-track esports major in the United States, and the first esports major in Virginia, starting in fall 2019. Shenandoah is the first university in the country to offer this program.
We expect Shenandoah students and alumni to be an integral part of the action in a field that values quick and strategic thinking, mental agility, intellectual curiosity and creativity.
According to the World Economic Forum, the global audience for esports is expected to reach 380 million in 2018. Established sports franchise owners understand the potential of esports, with Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, recently purchasing a majority stake in an esports organization, and the New York Yankees entering into a partnership deal with the investment group Vision Esports, as noted by The Esports Observer.
By 2021, global games market intelligence company Newzoo anticipates that “All major U.S. media conglomerates will have digital esports media rights,” and that esports will grow into a market bigger than that of traditional professional sports.
I predict that by 2024 esports will actually have an Olympic event!”
Visionary/economist Bob Froelich is quoted as saying in the Chicago Tribune
Shenandoah’s Esports Team
Shenandoah’s esports team has started its first year of competition through the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), with 30 team members playing five esports against players at colleges and universities across the U.S., including Division I institutions. The team’s on-campus home is in the Shenandoah Center for Immersive Learning (SCIL), where university students produce 360 degree video, along with augmented and virtual reality experiences to enhance learning.
The competitive team and students in the degree program will work hand-in-hand, allowing both groups to have the best esport experience possible, which will help them in college and long after.
Many college students grew up playing esports, and now, they've brought merged their love of esports with higher education.
Shenandoah University now has a varsity esports program, and plays teams from around the country as a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports. Find out what games Shenandoah's teams are playing, who they're playing, and how esports is making inroads within academia.
Esports Rampant Growth & Opportunity
The esports field is perfect for anyone interested in event management, communications, gameplay, coaching, exercise science, or in being part of a field that promises to grow more prominent and engaging with every passing year
In 2018, a championship event for Overwatch teams filled the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The center holds 19,000 people. These kinds of events promise to only grow in size and scope.
As noted on CNBC by Peter Guber, a co-owner of the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Dodgers and the professional esports organization Team Liquid, being able to fill a particular place isn’t necessary for esports.
You'll see that it's everywhere, and it isn't bound by geography. You don't use a stick or a bat to play, and you can play alone or with a whole group of people, play against the best."
Peter Guber | Co-owner of Team Liquid
Recent numbers from the World Economic Forum show that “esports viewers spent 17.9 million hours watching their gaming heroes [on Twitch and YouTube’s gaming channel] in the first quarter of 2018.” And Twitch, a live feed service where people can watch others play video games, has five million active daily users.
This is a world that needs a workforce. And those involved in the industry can be well-compensated. According to Glassdoor.com, a senior ecommerce operations manager for Blizzard Entertainment, a division of esports juggernaut Activision Blizzard, can earn up to $164,000, while a freelance esports and video game writer can earn up to $68,000.
By 2020, the industry’s anticipated more than $1 billion of worth will match or surpass the 2017 revenues cleared by the NCAA, as well as the social media influencers market.
A new world has arrived, right at your fingertips.
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Joey Gawrysiak holds the controller in the world of esports academia.
He has made the international esports rounds, with appearances on podcasts, radio shows and even a cruise line, and has presented at several gaming and sport management events—including the Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand and the Music and Gaming Educational Symposium. Gawrysiak has written several articles on esports and is in the process of creating a chapter for the first dedicated esports textbook. He has hosted esports tournaments and served as a guest lecturer and consultant for several universities. Gawrysiak was a competitive gamer in Halo: Combat Evolved while in college.
We are working to prepare students to enter this field as highly qualified individuals with a unique bachelor’s degree that will place them ahead of other people wishing to enter the field. Shenandoah has positioned itself at the forefront of the esports industry by offering students an environment to participate in and study esports in a number of different ways.”