Johnson C. Smith University recently launched its JCSU esports club. Black colleges have finally joined the esports bandwagon, an event that burgeoned to a billion-dollar business.
Esports is a competition of playing video games, which used to be the favorite pastime of the youth and is now part of colleges and universities’ academic programs. Unfortunately, it took a while for Black colleges to keep up with the trend. But now, students of HBCUs are excited about their latest venture.
Students who excel in games like NBA2k, Madden NFL, and Fortnite can be offered scholarships, participate in leagues and groups for esports programs, and eventually become gaming professionals.
On the other hand, other HBCUs find this venture as a catalyst for lucrative careers and internships for their undergraduates. This year, they have launched esports classes and participated in esports clubs and leagues that will allow students to develop their gaming abilities while connecting with technology firms. Some of the courses offered relevant to the esports field are Communications, Tournament Management, and Marketing.
Eventually, HBCUs’ teams and clubs will compete in an esports tournament that is exclusively established for all Black colleges, the Black Collegiate Gaming Association. Sixteen Black colleges signed up.
According to the association’s president, Keisha Walk, they are collaborating with firm partners like Intel, GameStop, and HyperX to allow students to work for them as interns and acquire hands-on experience in the corporate aspect the industry.
Before forming the Black Collegiate Gaming Association, there are already major esports groups that have been in operation since 2009. One of them is the Collegiate Star League, which has now accommodated over 1,500 higher education institutions. Prestigious institutions such as the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia have been members of Tespa, another gaming association that has been around for almost a decade.
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