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SFU Esports is competitive at the highest level and a best-practice model for small institutions who are looking to make an impact within the esports industry and in the lives of students.
Kaleidoscope - Saint Francis University Esports Segment from Cam-Ron Video Productions on Vimeo.
Esports is competitive, organized gaming that has taken the world by storm. According to CNN, Esports have grown into a multibillion dollar industry with millions of fans.
Many still question the role of esports in today's society. On December 2, 2017, Riot Games published this video on their official League of Legends YouTube channel to help answer some of those questions and solidify the role of esports as it continues to grow throughout the world. Riot Games, an industry leader for developing and supporting video games, released their debut game title 'League of Legends' in 2009 and the game has since gone on to become the most played PC game in the world and a key driver of the explosive growth of the world of esports.
We currently have a very active gaming club on campus that provides opportunities for their members and other students to game recreationally and through intramural tournaments. They are an important partner with the esports program and will continue to be throughout the program’s continued growth and development. The current gaming club is more of a social/recreational club on campus so while there will be many opportunities to collaborate on events, SFU Esports as a program does look and feel a bit different.
Here are the levels of gaming you will be able to participate in at SFU:
SFU does not have any affiliations with professional esports teams, however, our partnership with American Esports certainly brings SFU into the massive esports industry on a number of different levels including media, business, technology, and professional gaming, as well. Additionally, the proximity of both the Pittsburgh Knights organization as well as the Philadelphia Fusion Overwatch team should provide us some opportunities to make even more direct connections to the world of professional gaming.
Esports as a whole is really proving contrary to the misnomer that gamers are introverts or antisocial. Research is consistently finding that esports athletes are incredibly social and very engaged within their schools and communities. The platform of esports has allowed students to bring their interests and passions and share them with their peers and with the community at large. There's a reason why the viewership of major esports tournaments and championships is now rivaling, and in some cases, even surpassing those of traditional professional sporting events. So from an engagement and socialization level, esports is going to connect students and communities like never before. SFU has an incredible following from both the athletics world as well as the academic and professional world, as mentioned before, with the success and popularity of our programs; Esports will only add another layer to the student- and campus-experience that will connect students to more of their peers and to more opportunities to help further their growth and development as people of character, integrity, service, and intellectual and professional ability. Finally, esports has developed connections and applications to many academic fields and industries with emerging trends in technological advancements in health and medicine, sciences, education and business. Our long-term plan is to ensure that SFU Esports is fully integrated into the robust academic curriculum as well. There are many examples of other collegiate esports programs being integrated into fields like special education, healthcare, business and business analytics, marketing and communications, and of course STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics).
Students participating in SFU Esports will also develop effective communication, team work, and problem solving abilities. The game titles that are chosen to be played as part of our program have been chosen specifically because they involve a higher level of strategy in completing complex objectives. These games titles require athletes to communicate with each other about what is happening on their screen at all times as each player can only view a fixed perspective of the entire gameplay map, collaborate with each other to maintain their team's strategy, and think critically to find solutions to best their opponent's strategy.
Professional gaming does not require any specific major or field of study. Anyone, with any degree, who possesses extraordinary talent and passion for gaming has the potential to move beyond collegiate gameplay into the professional arena. Through American Esports, students will have internships and mentoring opportunities within the wider world of esports to include broadcasting, marketing, digital communications and media, business management, opportunities in technology and game-center development, and much more. Additionally, with the surge in technological advances with things like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, analytics, and expanding applications in tele-medicine and tele-communications, there are a number of pathways to connect the world of gaming to an array of professional careers.
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