At Romics there was an entire exhibition hall devoted to e-Sports. A League of Legends tournament had a big screen for all of us who wanted to watch, a FIFA scrum had broken out, and there was some kind of interactive, crowd-based game that my poor Italian wouldn’t let me get the gist of. Several game developers were there promoting their leagues, even if they didn’t have a tournament going on. There were clearly a lot of folks heavily engaged in a lot of gamer action.
I’ve written a bit about this before, but eSports is some interesting stuff, and to see it prevalent in Rome was pretty cool and also pretty interesting from a global marketing perspective.
It’s also a fascinating sport from the perspective of someone in my industry – eSports sells itself as at least as useful from a career development as traditional athletics, if not more so. I’ve heard a couple of folks talk about eSports in a very career prep sort of way, and that administrators and industry reps (I’m looking at you Twitch) talk about how much being an eSports player will enhance a student’s resume and give them experiences that will help them build useful skillsets.
As always, we will see…and of course I have questions…
- Will these sports force the NCAA to rethink its model? eSports are by definition connected intimately with corporate sponsors…
- Will this generation of students overcome (or more importantly, simply ignore) the scorn of boomers and gen xers?
- Will we try to think about emotional consequences, or will we just keep banging ahead, blindly, hoping that things work out for the best?