New Esports Program Launched at William Peace University ::


By Abbey Slattery, WRAL Digital Solutions

This article was written for our sponsor, William Peace University.

The esports – or electronic sports – market is growing at breakneck speed, with global revenues expected to grow from US$957.5 million in 2019 to US$1.6 billion by 2024. continues at the current rate, the industry should attract 285 million regular viewers worldwide, plus 291.6 million occasional viewers.

At William Peace University, the new esports and gaming administration program gives students a chance to get started in this billion-dollar industry. Stemming from the school’s established simulation and game design curriculum, the esports degree also draws on general support and incentives for infrastructure and tournaments across the state.

“It was a natural opportunity for growth, because it’s a growing industry. Our approach to the program is highly interdisciplinary. It’s about esports and business administration, but students also take a graduate-level psychology course, a course in exercise and sports science, marketing and more,” said Roger Christman, department manager at WPU. “At its core, it’s basically a business degree, but focused on this growing new industry, and the need for people who understand it to become leaders.”

Chuquel Wright, a current student at WPU, transferred his simulation and game design major to Esports as soon as it became available.

“I’ve always been more interested in the competitive side of games, rather than the creative part. Once I knew there was a major that dipped specifically into the esports scene, I knew I had to go,” Wright said. “You never learn or do a task that isn’t directly related and beneficial to what you’ll be doing in the future.”

Wright’s future plans include hoping to regulate streams for esports events on Twitch, YouTube Gaming or another streaming service. The courses in the program, including simulations of esports events, as well as his role as captain of the Valorant esports team, helped prepare him for this, not to mention the technology and opportunities that WPU offers it.

“I’ve watched other programs, and there’s really only a few in North Carolina, but we’re very interdisciplinary. On top of that, we have state-of-the-art equipment. Everything from our fiber optic line to our 10 gigabit server is brand new, and the machines themselves are all Alienware,” Christman said. “We have a dedicated esports lab, where we already have a team who competed this year. They compete with much larger schools and still rank in some of the top spots.

The school is also considering joining NACE, the National Association of College Esports, as a Division II school. When they do, the team will be the first Division II team at William Peace University.

For Christman, the small class size helps students prepare for the fundamentals as well as the fine details. The interdisciplinary nature of the program also encourages openness to collaboration from a range of perspectives.

“What I really love about esports is that it incorporates leadership development, collaboration, teamwork and strategic thinking, but it’s more inclusive in that you don’t have you don’t have to be a typical athlete to participate,” Christman said. . “Having smaller class sizes and our exceptional faculty and academic support team helps us develop students individually. helps us work with individual students. We accept them where they are – whether they’re struggling to turn on a computer or they already know enough to be able to teach part of the course – and we take them where they need to go.

Part of the growing interest in esports and game design is the increased application potential. As technology advances, fields such as aviation, healthcare, manufacturing, and more are able to take advantage of these programs. Game-based training programs give professionals the opportunity to deal with high-risk or stressful events before they encounter them in real life.

From training to education to pure entertainment, game design and gameplay will only continue to grow – and the schools that offer these degree programs offer students a unique opportunity to step into the ground. -of the road.

“There are these hundreds of billions of dollars and these big corporations investing in this – they see it, they know it’s happening and they need the manpower to help support this development. We want to create alumni who can go out there and be significant contributors and do these stories and simulations that are going to be valuable,” Christman said. “Big Fortune 500 companies already understand this, and someone who is educated and has the experience, knowledge and understanding of how to bring it all together in a platform that can be delivered across many departments and organizations is going to be an invaluable member of a team.”

This article was written for our sponsor, William Peace University.


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