Lander University to offer new Esports minor
Thursday, Dec 19, 2019
Lander University students enjoy their new gaming lounge, the Bearcade. Serving as a training area for the Bearcat Bytes, Lander’s competitive Esports team, the Bearcade also has three gaming stations for the general student population. Photo by Laura Brown.

Nearly one year after the debut of its Esports team, Lander University is continuing to invest in this area by offering a new minor in Esports management and administration. Set to begin in the spring of 2020, the new program will be the very first of its kind in the state of South Carolina, as well as the first in the southeast region of the United States.

Lander’s decision to launch this new minor comes at a time of great success in the Esports industry. Reports suggest that the market is expected to surge to $1.1 billion in revenue this year. Popularity is also on the rise. The 2018 League of Legends World Championship attracted over 200 million viewers, easily topping the 98 million people who viewed the Super Bowl that same year.

Current research expects the Esports audience to continue to swell to over 454 million viewers, as fans use platforms such as Twitch and Microsoft Mixer to tune into competitions. “The tournaments and festivals of last year alone generated $121 million in prize money,” said Interim Dean Michael Brizek, of Lander’s College of Business, which will house this new program. Brizek noted this high dollar figure does not include the revenue generated from the competitions themselves.

With the industry flourishing, Lander is aiming to produce high-quality candidates who can meet the demand of this newly emerging career field. “The purpose of this program is mainly in the management of facilities, the marketing, and the planning associated with competitive gaming,” said Brizek.

Lander joins a short roster of only 13 other institutions worldwide that offer an Esports management program. Collaborative efforts between students pursuing the minor and Lander’s Esports team are another possibility. Earlier this year, Lander served as the host site for the Peach Belt Conference Esports championship. Additionally, the university unveiled its state-of-the-art gaming lounge, known as “The Bearcade,” at the beginning of the fall semester. “We’re currently working with Students Affairs and the Esports team to discuss ways to effectively blend the academics of our new program with the co-curricular activities.”

For more information on the minor in Esports management and administration, please contact the Lander University College of Business at 864-388-8232.