University’s E-Sports Master’s Degree becomes first of its kind in North America

Lindsay Giovannone , Contributing Writer

Recognizing the value of esports and the need for new development, the University of New Haven has launched an online master’s program in Esports Business, the first of its kind in North America. The program offers courses on the integrity of esports, marketing techniques, and the value of live streaming platforms, among many others.

Esports is an exploding industry; the popularity of video games has led to competitive gaming — and competitive career opportunities. South Korea was one of the first countries to revolutionize its telecommunications system in the early, unintentionally inventing a multi-billion-dollar industry. Esports, unlike traditional athletics, need game publishers and developers to ensure the field does not become obsolete. Developers have intellectual property rights to their games and titles, being the only entity able to determine who may access the game and how distribution should occur. Maintaining the infrastructure and integrity of esports has become a growing concern of consumers.

The high demand for quality video games creates an incredibly competitive market among companies, creating a niche for professionals. The university’s 12-month degree, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and located within the Pompea College of Business, has been placed as a top 5% of business programs across the globe. Over 495 million people participated in gaming, with North America having the largest revenue share in 2019 (40%). Esports is expected to be worth over $6.82 billion dollars by 2027 and the careers available are growing with its value. There is an increasing need for marketing managers to analyze information and understand the importance of developing new strategies to reach potential consumers.

In an article written for the New Haven Register, director of the university’s esports program Jason Chung, said that “the [games’] sustained popularity… has further validated the industry in the eyes of brands and investors alike.” This validation is what put New Haven at the forefront of esports education.

The rise in the gaming demographic among young adults has spurred a transformation in what it means to be a famous athlete. Chung said that there are “skeptics” about the legitimacy of the industry but implores them to “ask why they pay to watch strangers play football when they could just play themselves.” Esports allows gamers to immerse themselves in an alternate world where they are in control; it is an accessible and engaging activity that has a myriad of games for all ages.

As fascination with esports accelerates, so does the requirement for qualified professionals. What was once seen as a geeky hobby is now a legitimate venture, offering professional opportunities for growth. The university’s unique program prepares graduates to enter the industry equipped with the tools to pioneer a pixelated world worth billions.