Medaille College creates new esports major for fall 2020

"It’s not just sitting around and playing video games"
Posted at 4:37 PM, Nov 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-08 18:29:54-05

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Electronic sports, known as Esports is now a multi-billion-dollar industry and a local college is taking advantage of the growing popularity.

Medaille College in Buffalo is now one of the first colleges in Western New York to offer esports management as a major next fall.

“It’s not just sitting around and playing video games for eight hours a day,” declared Dan Snyder, system support specialist, Esports Club advisor.

Daemen and Canisius Colleges also have esports club programs, but Medaille is first to create a curriculum approved by New York State that will teach all aspects of esports.

“I’m excited for it,” Snyder said.

Students in the Medaille College esports club room.

But what kind of a job could you end up with after majoring in esports? You could be on an esports management team, become an esports coach or a shoutcaster/host.

"I’ve always been interested in shoutcasting, which is basically the esports announcers for esports,” Ryan Scumaci remarked.

Scumaci is a senior at Williamsville East High School. He will major in esports at Medaille next fall.

“This is Overwatch. It's a game that I play a lot with friends,” Scumaci pointed to a computer screen.

“What type of skill-set is so important when you are doing this?” Buckley asked. “It's really good to have and to really know and understand your own strengths and the strengths of the charter you choose to play,” replied Scumaci.

There are a variety of esports jobs with very high earning power.

“The last major tournament that was held was the Fortnite world championships and he was a 16-year-old player who made $1.3 million to sit around and play his games,” Snyder noted. “For directors you can make the big bucks.”

Medaille's esports room.

Medaille’s esports majors will follow a four-year program of course work.

“Data analytics, management information system, event management, facility management, competitive gaming, team building course, an introduction to game design,” explained Richard Jacob, Medaille professor.

Jacob said it's a blend of business and sports.

“How do you convince a parent that this a good thing for them?” questioned Buckley. Well that's a great question and I would want to know to as a parent, but the idea is again, as a business, it is a multi-billion-dollar industry,” Jacob responded.

“I was told one the hardest things to do would be to convince the parents why this would be a viable major to take,” Snyder said.

Medaille's esports room.

Scumaci, who interned at Medaille and helped build the esports club room, says he had no difficulty convincing his parents he plans to major in the program next year,

“They were really just on board with it because they know this is something I am really passionate about and that I really like to do,” Scumaci replied.
An industry on the rise with Medaille eager to get in on the action.

This past May the NCAA’s Board of Governors decided not to governor and hold championships for collegiate esports. The issue was tabled