U-Dub E-Sports

Milgard’s Sports Enterprise Management program recently hosted “E-Sports, Gaming and Competitive Entertainment: The Industry and Your Opportunities” at the UW Tacoma Campus on March 5. This hour-long panel highlighted video game sports competitions and their prospective career paths. 

The event hosted four speakers. Gary Briggs, CEO of Real-Time Strategies and founder of LANFest, Todd Conley, 90’s originated professional gamer and executive director of Highschool.gg, Patrick Barthe, director of esports partnerships at Atomic InfoTech, and Tom Bulter, co-founder, and president of the Professional Battle League. 

During the discussion, panelists touched upon the topic of similarities and differences between traditional and electronic sports. As well as the diversity of professions available in the field.

“Compared to traditional sports, in e-sports, the players are really accesible – it’s interactive. It’s really about community,” said Blathe, “We are getting live data from the game. We can get that faster the NFL probably can because they are pulling it off from the field. Because of that, we are able to create greater engagements.”

Washington is a large technological hub with many big-name companies, such as Microsoft, Bungie, Nintendo, and Valve. It is a hotbed for competitive gaming, with one-third of the industry located in the Pacific Northwest. Competitive gamers earn about $3,000 to $5,000 monthly, but top echelon players may earn up to $15,000 monthly.  

The business side of the field also offers ample employment. Competitive entertainment organizations require employees in human resources, graphic design, leadership and business management. 

“Every profession, everything is needed in that industry,” said Briggs.

The University of Washington has shown continued support of competitive entertainment, building the HUB’s Esports Arena and Gaming Center on Seattle Campus last April. The gaming lounge charges $3.50 per hour, $30.00 for 10 hours and $10.50 for an hour of virtual reality. 

Stan Emert Jr, Director of Sports Enterprise Management at UW Tacoma, also made a special ending announcement that he and Butler are collaborating to develop and bring e-sports management education to campus. This summer, they will be unveiling internships and workshops centering around the competitive entertainment field. They hope to also create a competitive sports team in the future.

“It is vital to have smaller tournaments…we feel we truly are a community development organizations. It is important to have that membership level..grassroots are vital.” Bulter said.

Students often gather at the Mattress Factory’s DawgDen to play Super Smash Bros and other competitive games.
PHOTO BY NICKOLUS PATRASZEWSKI
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