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Esports Summit: Launching a Collegiate Esports Program in Under 9 Months

Michael Fay (Manager of the Esports Center, Rutgers University)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Summits Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Esports

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

Esports offerings are turning up at colleges & universities across the country in a variety of forms. Some institutions offer scholarships for varsity teams; others are building facilities for club competition; a few are offering gaming as a recreational service for all students. In 2018, The University of Akron decided to do all three in under 9 months and to great success. How does such a rapidly formed program operate? What processes and priorities that made it possible to build a varsity esports, club esports, and recreational gaming program within a short timeline? What can the program's successes and failures teach us about the nature of the college-age gaming population and how to build & market gaming communities for that population? In the year 2020, Rutgers University is launching an esports initiative on a similarly short timeline. How does this launch compare?


Attendees will learn about the particular organizational structure of The University of Akron's Esports Department and Rutgers University’s new Esports Center in the context of the larger collegiate esports landscape. The timeline of the department's design & implementation will be broken down and critiqued. Crucial design decisions will be evaluated for their effectiveness and offered up as insights for educators, game developers, & marketers to inform future design choices in an effort to contribute to the growth of larger, healthier, and more holistic gaming communities across the industry.

Intended Audience

Educators, esports developers, publishers, community organizers, tournament organizers, and anyone interested in learning more about collegiate esports & community building.