Students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas will now be able to delve into the world of eSports thanks to a new course available this fall from the International Gaming Institute (IGI).
The eSports Lab will allow students explore a number of facets of the eSports world, as well as to create presentations and business plans relevant to the casino industry. They will have the opportunity to learn about a number of topics including games and their genres, how to synthesize information, and how to effectively target Millennials.
They will also work to solve current problems in the field, such as how to effectively design competitive events and improve experience models for eSports. New technologies that are relevant to the industry will be expected to be applied by students, who will also be asked to develop intellectual property and other innovations related to the overall gaming experience.
"eSports is the hottest topic in every board room on the Strip, particularly with respect to Millennials," said Robert Rippee, director of the Hospitality Lab and eSports Lab. "What better place to begin the journey to understand its relevance and application to the casino and hospitality industry than right here at UNLV?"
Guest speakers will be brought in over the course of the semester, including game developers, tournament management companies, platform developers, design engineers and architects, compliance and regulatory experts, competition design experts, and gaming executives. Students will have the opportunity to not only attend, but also participate in eSports events, writes Will Green for Esports Betting Report.
The first of its kind at UNLV, the eSports Lab is considered to be an evolution and complement to the current casino gaming innovation courses available at the school.
The most common form of eSports is considered to be organized multiplayer video game competitions. The live-streaming of such events draws millions of viewers across the world.
The University of California Irvine announced this last spring plans to launch an official eSports and gaming initiative this fall. Plans for the school include a state-of-the-art area complete with high-end gaming PCs, a stage for League of Legends competitions and a live webcasting studio to be constructed at the Student Center. Up to 10 academic scholarships are set to be offered to students on the team.
Based in Los Angeles, Riot Games, the studio in charge of League of Legends, pledged its support for the eSports initiative and said it would work with UCI in order to offer a premium League of Legends gaming experience.
"The UCI community is one of over 300 student-run gaming clubs we currently support," said Ramon Hermann, head of the collegiate program at Riot Games. "We're honored to work with UCI to create a permanent home for gamers on campus and hope this will inspire similar programs at colleges and universities across North America."
At the same time, former president of HBO Sports Ken Hershman has taken over as executive chairman and commissioner of the World Esports Association. Hershman was responsible for the boxing franchise while with HBO from 2012 to 2015. Prior to that, he ran Showtime Sports.