The popularity of esports has continued to increase, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, and University of New Haven students and faculty members are looking forward to being part of the University’s innovative new programs in esports that are launching this fall.

August 24, 2020

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Students playing esports
The University will officially launch its interdisciplinary major in Esports and Gaming this fall.

Raymond Hernandez ’24 is passionate about esports. He doesn’t aspire to be a professional gamer, rather, he says he wants to be involved on the business side – marketing a team or a product.

“It’s on the up and up, and you can see that with the number of contracts people are making nowadays,” said Hernandez, an incoming business management major with a concentration in esports management. “I see nothing but promise for esports, and that’s the reason why I wanted to go to one of the first universities at the ground level for esports.”

Hernandez recently spoke with WFSB for a story about how the esports industry is thriving during the coronavirus pandemic. Capitalizing on this trend, the University this fall will officially launch its interdisciplinary major in Esports and Gaming. Housed in the Pompea College of Business, the program will feature concentrations offered by the School of Health Science, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, and College of Arts and Sciences. The University is also launching an esports management concentration as part of its Business Management major.

Within the last several months, the University has announced two academic partnerships that will support the programs. Students will have the opportunity to collaborate and learn from leaders at Twitch, a leading service and community for multiplayer entertainment, and HyperX, the sponsor of some of the world’s top esports organizations. The partnership with Twitch will include a jointly developed and delivered class titled “Introduction to Live Streaming and Streamer Economics.”

“The interest is here,” Jason Chung, BCL, LLB, assistant professor of sport management and executive director of the University’s esports program, told WFSB. “Gen Z is in it, and wherever Gen Z goes, so do the advertisers and sponsors and business.”

A lawyer who specializes in building programs focused on the business of esports, Prof. Chung spearheaded the Twitch and HyperX partnerships.

The University’s comprehensive academic curriculum in esports management is the first of its kind to be part of a business curriculum accredited by AACSB International. The University is also developing a graduate program in esports business, the first such program in the United States.

“Awareness of esports has definitely has gone up,” he said. “Acceptance has gone up because, ultimately, it’s a form of entertainment.”