Kent State is introducing a course entirely covering esports for the spring 2020 semester. Esports is competitive online gaming.

“This course is one of the first Esports classes to be offered in Northeast Ohio,” said Dr. Steven Toepfer, one of the professors teaching the course.

The course, called Strategic Esports, will cover a broad spectrum of information about the growing esports field including the history and development of it, what makes it unique from other sports, issues in esports and esports platforms. It is worth three credit hours.

Esports flyer

Information on Strategic Esports, including the class schedule and CRNs, can be found on this flyer.

“We’re going to be covering the broad aspects of it such as the history and current affairs of esports, content creation, professional gaming, and the ecosystem and infrastructure of the esports world because that is the meat of it,” Toepfer said.

One of the main projects of this course is to create a tournament. Students will have to choose a game for their online tournament and organize everything from teams, media and the venue among other things. Streaming, creating videos and video game music will be covered the most in terms of content creation.

The course will focus on issues in the esports industry, with one of these issues being the well being of professional gamers.

“It is important to have a good well-being in any endeavor that takes up time and energy. Many pro gamers spend eight-10 hours in a chair and how does that affect their physical and mental well-being? That is what we would like to do research on,” Toepfer said. 

The course will also cover more focused information about careers in the world of esports.

“If you go on google there are all kinds of new and exciting career opportunities for our students to pursue in esports,” said Dr. Tang Tang, the other professor teaching the course. “We are hoping to provide students with a wide range of information on esports as a subject and industry to position our students as experts in this field.”

There is so much to know about this industry that is not from the perspective of the gamer in order to pursue a career in the field.

“Most of the careers in esports are not as professional gamers but other careers surrounding that. There is a great opportunity here for students interested in esports to create cool projects because it is something that students can actually be really into,” Toepfer said.

Cody Minnick, a junior communications major and active member of Kent State’s Esports program is enrolled in the course for next semester.

“I currently work in esports and I plan on working in esports after graduation and the class teaches esports management like putting together tournaments, LAM parties and events,” he said. “If anyone has even a small interest in esports management they should take this course because it provides not only knowledge about esports but networking as well.”

The class will be held Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. in Franklin Hall.

Contact Aidan Coyne at acoyne8@kent.edu.

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