January 18, 2019

Becker adds varsity esports team

Photo/Courtesy
Roughly 100 Becker College students participate in esports clubs.

Becker College already has the country's first esports management program and the first college in Massachusetts to offer scholarships to varsity esports student-athletes.

Forming a varsity team in one of esports' most popular games was simply a natural progression.

Becker said Wednesday it has formed a varsity team to play Overwatch, an online first-person shooter video game. They will begin play in a tournament later this month. Overwatch is the third esports varsity team at Becker, joining League of Legends and SMITE.

The goal of the varsity esports program, Becker says, is to establish the college as an esports power across multiple games.

"Our goal is to make Becker a destination for students with a passion for play," said Timothy Loew, Becker's varsity esports program general manager and executive director of the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute. "We're building a true esports community here, not simply a team, club or a program."

Roughly 100 students participate in esports clubs, according to the school.

Becker says it is the first college in the country to offer a bachelor's degree for esports management, which includes economics, psychology, marketing, accounting and finance courses. The idea is to train students for careers managing events or esports athletes.

Viewership and revenue data make it clear why Becker has been aggressive in making a name for itself in esports.

The industry brought in more than $900 million in revenue last year, with 380 million viewers, including in-person competitions and online, according to the industry analyst Newzoo. Those numbers are projected to rise by 2021 to $1.65 billion and 557 million, respectively.

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