How Some Colleges are Anticipating eSports as part of their Digital Sports Curriculum.
Written Informally By: Kimmiko
The presence of video gamers has been around since the dawn of the information age. As soon as there was the ability to program various software on computers, there were computer scientists already making games. Needless to say, gamers in a college setting has always been present but in a smaller niche community.
As time progressed the popularity and accessibility to video games has become one of the main success of the ever growing gaming industry. According to The ESA, Electronic Software Association, over 48.4 billion USD was made in video game sales last year(2018). Early adopters such as DreamHack founded in 1994, ESL founded in 2000 and Eleague founded in 2016 are only a few notables which are embracing the eSports Industry. Their path in being the leaders of eSports Tournaments and Showcases provides proof of concept. This brings to light that eSports is a growing industry that will be able to create new careers and opportunities for our future workforce.
From May 29th through 31st 2019, The SVG(Sports Video Group) College Summit was held at the Omni Hotel Conference Grand Ballroom in the CNN Center, Atlanta, GA. This gave us an insight of how the Sports Industry is embracing their Collegiate Sports Broadcasting for mainstream production. Closing their summit on Friday, May 31st 2019, the SVG dedicated their last day to bring panels and discussions about the emergence of eSports broadcasting in colleges.
As part of being involved with SVG’s Summit they encouraged everyone to network. Amongst some of the people encountered, a young college graduate from NYIT, New York Institute of Technology, was able to give us insight of his journey from being a normal college student to the head coach of eSports in NYIT.
Kimmiko: Hi my name is Kimmiko from Pharaoh’s Conclave and today I was at the SVG College Summit for the eSports Seminar, while networking I ran into...
Duran: Elieser Duran, Head Coach of eSports at NYIT.
Kimmiko: First off, tell me about NYIT what does it stand for?
Duran: New York Institute of Technology.
Duran: We have a campus in Old Westbury Long Island and we have another campus in New York City, Manhattan.
Kimmiko: Now are you head coach of both of the campuses?
Duran: Yes, they are both the same school just two different locations.
Duran: Yeah they are not considered different schools.
Kimmiko: Yeah? So which one are you based out of?
Duran: I’m more based out of Wesbury than Manhattan but for example I have a League of Legends team is like almost all Manhattan Students. But sometimes the teams are mixed between Manhattan and Westbury Students so I have to coordinate that. Things can get a little more complicated but at least we have a diverse amount of students.
Kimmiko: Now tell me what made you start this whole thing, did you create the position “eSports Coach?”
Duran: Well originally when I was senior, in NYIT and I graduated in 2017. I was the President of Game Club and eventually we got a group of students that was like we wanted to play more competitively. So, we started organizing and going to TESPA and we originally played Heroes of the Dorm when that existed and they got rid of that program(laughs to himself). We started just going with that and eventually we just started growing members. At one point, towards the end of my senior year I approached the Athletics Department about making this like a Varsity Sport. I think I came at the right time because they already were trying to figure out what they were going to do with eSports. Because it’s New York Institute of Technology, there was an easier transition and not a lot of push back, it was more like. How do we organize this? It was about two years on working on the program like with no pay and eventually I got my position as Head Coach.
Kimmiko: O.K. and that is recently right?
Duran: Yeah I got that position I think in December, maybe the 20th? Like a couple days before Christmas.
Kimmiko: Oh! So that was like a good little Christmas Gift!
Duran: Yeah made a nice little Christmas. Yeah that’s when I started.
Kimmiko: Now… What type of teams do you have for your school?
Duran: Right now we have League of Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow 6 Siege, and Super Smash Brothers. We have a total of 50 Official Players on the team and about like 200+ on the discord that is just community members and some of them are players from NYIT and some of them are not. We just wanted to make a community. And if it involves other campuses… it involves other campuses. The last thing we want to do is shut people out from our discord it’s like I make roles on discord so that people don’t get into channels they are not supposed to get into. So yeah, so each game right now has two teams on them like League of Legends has two teams and Overwatch has two teams so we can scrimmage internally if we need to.
Kimmiko: So, as far as having a team have you reached out competitively to spar or have you gone to any type of Collegiate Style Tournaments?
Duran: Yeah we participated in TESPA, we participated in CSO, we been invited to a few LANS in the area. We went R16th Around March 23rd we went to Penn State for the Nittany Invitational. They are a really good group of kids.
Kimmiko: Going into the SVG College Summit and attending the eSports side of it. What were you looking to gain from the seminars?
Duran: Honestly it was to step up my production game because I know we have a really good program right now. We are working really hard as in working with the Athletics Department and getting that support from NYIT. It is really helpful and I believe I just wanted to watch and hear professionals talk about their mindset when it comes to making a production. Like I didn’t even know what a roll sheet was before today.
Kimmiko: Yeah I know they show an example sheet.
Duran: Yeah THANK GOD! I would of been all over the internet searching for that thing. Yeah I’m going to start making that and start trying get the Arts Department from my school. I think we should try to get more students involved, so that like the speaker from Twitch was saying we want to make sure as soon as they graduate they already have three years of experience.
Duran: Yeah! And that was where I was like, Awe Man! I should start working on that because right now I’m doing a lot of that by myself, not to say it’s ever a burden but it was great to involve more people so that I can impact more people on the campus.
Kimmiko: Absolutely. Well, you are going back to New York right now, it sounds like you are bringing back a lot of knowledge and taking back a lot more notes. When you approach your design team, your communication team; do you think you will be also approaching your Sports Athletics Production Team for some help as well?
Duran: Yeah! Without a doubt. I will be asking to see what their workflow is because I know they do stream matches but I know there are colleges that have higher end ones we are a B2 School so we don’t have those big productions but we do stream matches to like the East Coast Conference website and everything. Yeah so I’m going to be speaking with them, definitely going to be picking their brains about it. I know some of them did work in production, so I want to put a plan together, by the middle of summer present that to them. (Makes a gesture of handing paper to someone.) This is my goal for next semester, because even though someone doesn’t tell me what exactly to do, I like putting goals for myself because I don’t like being idle. I feel it detriments not only me but everybody else so I want to step up my game even though no one is asking. I want to keep the vision that we are keeping NYIT on the forefront of Collegiate eSports
Kimmiko: Thank you so much I’m sure I will be hearing more from you soon, getting updates, probably going to join your discord just to tune in on some things you have planned.
Duran: Your gonna see a lot of memes… Your gonna see a lot of memes….
Duran: I’m telling you right now everyone memes really hard! You’re gonna see some TLDRs and ask where and when did this ever happen!
Duran: But yeah that is most discords but you can also follow us on NYIT_eSports
Kimmiko: Is that on Twitter?
Duran: Yes that is our Team Twitter.
Kimmiko: Well any shot-outs or anything?
Duran: No, not really, just thank you for showing me around Atlanta I got to go to a lot of really cool
places. Hopefully we will be able to connect more New York teams with teams from this area and just start building up the East Coast Region because the West got everything, I don’t mind the West anymore WE MUST BUILD UP THE EAST COAST! We must build up the East Coast eSports so when we build our Regionals we can proudly say East Coast is here and we Dominate! Dominate!
Duran: My ultimate goal is to build up the East Coast Region…. First Long Island, then New York, Northeast and then East Coast. Cause everybody deserves an opportunity to get an education and play at the same time.
Kimmiko: Well thank you so much!
Duran: Thank you.
Kimmiko: I hope you have a safe trip back and we will be talking to each other soon!
Kimmiko: Alright this is Kimmiko from Pharaohs Conclave and Atlanta Gamer Life calling out! Peaceeee.
*Hops out the car and waves goodbye as he enters the Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport.