Workshop will open a window into the world of esports

Esports workshop logo

If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the business of esports, including the ever-increasing job opportunities it offers, you will have your chance later this month to learn from some of the best in the industry.

The Lundquist College of Business’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, along with the Erb Memorial Union, is bringing esports leaders to campus Feb. 21 for “The Business of esports,” a daylong workshop at the EMU. Speakers will discuss the range of careers within esports that are opening up, along with advice on how to take advantage of them.

“The industry has shifted from hiring people who know about gaming to those who have more sophisticated business chops,” said Whitney Wagoner, director of the Warsaw Center and organizer of the workshop. “What’s more, the job growth will come from companies that are not directly tied to gaming but want to be part of its rapid growth. There will continue to be more and more high-quality job opportunities for our students, and they need to be ready.”

The event gets underway at 8 a.m. and kicks off with a keynote address from David Higdon of Riot Games. One of the breakout sessions will explore journalism jobs within esports, which will be moderated by Maxwell Foxman of the School of Journalism and Communication and includes UO alum Mitch Reames, a respected multimedia esports journalist.

Another session will look at how more traditional sports leagues leverage gaming. It will include a panel made up of representatives from the Portland Trail Blazers, Portland Timbers and the Seattle Seahawks and will be moderated by Wagoner.

Attendees will also have the chance to hear from David Gugliotti, the director of the UO’s esports program, which officially launched last year. Gugliotti earned his MBA, specializing in sports business, from the Lundquist College last spring.

He will moderate a discussion with the UO esports program’s brand partners and then sit on a panel with representatives from Boise State University and Northwest Christian University to discuss the collegiate esports landscape.

The day concludes with a show match between the League of Legends esports teams from the UO and Boise State.

The event coincides with the growth of esports on campus, both in terms of academics and student experience.

The Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, School of Journalism and Communications, and College of Arts and Sciences all have programming tied to video gaming. The Warsaw Center also has held previous events aimed at bringing students together with representatives from the gaming industry.

In addition, after being a club sport in recent years, university officials named esports an official program and appointed Gugliotti, who was the team’s president last year, its first director. The esports lounge on the ground floor of the EMU is slated to open in the coming weeks. The lounge will be open to students, faculty members and staff, and it will serve as the hub of the university’s gaming community.  

The cost to attend ”The Business of esports” daylong event is $10 for UO students, faculty members and staff and $20 for non-UO affiliates. The price includes a light breakfast, lunch and access to all of the workshop’s sessions.

Attendees will also have the chance to tour the new esports lounge in the EMU before it officially opens. For more information, go to https://business.uoregon.edu/esports.