Move over Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rays, Lightning, Rowdies, there’s a new sport in town. It’s time to roll out the red carpet for esports, the emerging phenomenon that is gaining momentum around the world and drawing millions of viewers on streaming platforms. The attraction: video gamers pitted against each other in competitions in which millions of dollars hang in the balance.
And the Muma College of Business’ Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program is breaking new ground by sponsoring the inaugural USF eSports Summit, held Wednesday, which drew about 250 attendees. Gamers and executives from across the nation gathered in the atrium, offering insights about the rapid emergence of this thing called esports. The event was sponsored by Fox Sports Florida.
Michelle Harrolle, director of the program said interest among graduate students is increasing and one recent graduate, Jordan Bellar, has currently handles global esports partnerships for Harris-Blitzer Sports & Entertainment. Harrolle and Assistant Professor Janelle Wells recently published a book titled The Business of Esports: The Wild Wild West on Fire.