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Level Up Your Skills for the $1B Esports industry

November 03, 2021 by Mandy Byrd |

Esports_LevelUpYourSkills-01Learn current trends in esports, how to livestream an event, and more in new online courses from UNC Greensboro.

There’s a growing demand for qualified professionals to work in the $1 billion esports industry.

That’s why UNC Greensboro is launching two online esports courses this fall:

  • Esports Ecosystems: Past, Present, and Beyond Gaming
  • Athletic Content and Viewer Engagement

These noncredit courses are part of the new Esports Digital Certificate program, which is designed to give students the skills they need to work in a variety of esports-related careers, from marketing, broadcasting, and fan engagement to designing tournaments, developing sponsorships, and negotiating player contracts.

Esports Expertise

Courses are developed by industry experts such as Neil Malvone, Executive Vice President and Chief Esports Officer at Collegiate Sports Management Group and CEO/Founder of Cutting Edge Sports Management.

These subject matter experts write the course content, select readings and videos, and collaborate with UNCG Online’s instructional design team on the courses.

“There’s rich expertise in all of these courses,” says Dr. Susie Boles, assistant director of instructional design for UNCG Online.

Although the new courses are not for academic credit, Boles says the team follows the same best practices and principles they use to develop academic courses.

“From projects, case studies, interactive activities, quizzes, videos, readings, and more, everything relates back to the learning objectives. Everything is purposeful and meaningful,” she explains.

How the Courses Work

The first two esports courses consist of four levels, or units. When you complete a level, you level up to the next one. Complete all levels successfully and earn a digital badge — a verified credential that you can post online.

Each course takes up to 28 hours to complete. A typical student would take about four weeks per course, but you can work at your own pace. You can access the course as soon as you register, and you have up to 45 days to complete it.

The digital certificate program includes a total of six courses. (Additional courses will be launched in Spring 2022.) Complete all six courses to earn the certificate.

Explore Esports Ecosystems

In the Esports Ecosystems course, you’ll learn about the history of competitive video gaming, identify current trends, and assess potential revenue streams in esports. Course missions (assignments) and challenges (quizzes) culminate in a final project — creating a mock video interview for an esports industry position. You will learn through case studies, video, readings, and answers to discussion prompts, and you’ll get feedback on assignments from the instructor.

Engage Esports Fans

In another course, Athletic Content and Viewer Engagement, you’ll build an inclusive engagement plan for esports fans and identify ways to empower viewers. You will develop a broadcast persona, identify your target audience, and livestream an esports event — giving you real livestream experience to show to potential employers.

Like all the esports courses, Athletic Content and Viewer Engagement is designed for students from a variety of backgrounds, whether you have some experience in esports or just want to get your foot in the door, says Nathan Myers, the instructional designer who collaborated on the course with Tal Blevins, a video game industry consultant with Ghost Light Group, and Eric Chilton, President/CEO of Broadcast 2 Go.

“We want this to be something that a person could jump in and do over the course of the four units, even if they’ve never done it before. But we also want to have resources around for people who have done this before and maybe want to take it to the next level and make it a little bit more professional,” Myers says.

Focus on Inclusivity in Esports

One distinguishing feature of UNCG’s esports program is the emphasis on inclusivity. It’s embedded in each course in an intentional way. For example, students will explore the inequities around gender and diversity in esports and learn how to make sure audiences are inclusive and diverse.

“Inclusivity is really a main thread throughout the program,” Myers says.

Boles says it’s important to know that the program is not designed to make students better gamers. Instead, it gives them exposure to a variety of esports career paths.

“These courses will introduce people to careers in the esports industry that they may not have known existed,” she explains. “When people think esports, they think about being a gamer, but there are so many other career avenues that these courses specifically introduce to students.”

Start Today and Level Up

Because these are noncredit online courses, there’s no admission process. You can register for a course and start right away. Each course is $400. Visit the Esports website to get started!

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