Baltimore, MD — The online gaming community is expanding and so are the opportunities that come with being a successful gamer. The popularity in eSports is growing rapidly, and it was even introduced in the 2021 Olympics. However, there is a need for diversity in the industry in a professional setting.
“Eighty-three percent of African American millennials play video games, but only 2% are in the gaming industry,” said Ms. Basketball, the host of NBA 2K League previous Sportscaster for HBCU Sports League at the Revolt Summit. She mentioned that some HBCUs are creating a pathway to combat this issue.
Newly reaccredited Morris Brown College in Atlanta has an eSports certificate program that students can complete in 15 months. It delves into other topics such as team management, social media management, eSports career planning, etc. to help students be more well rounded. Benedict College in South Carolina also has an eSports degree program and gaming room to support students in the gaming industry.
“There is room for you, there is space for you. There is everything and anything you want to do is in that space for you, and I think that more people need to know that,” said Ms. Basketball.
Like any other sport, eSport competitors need a team, Erin Simon, the CCO and co-owner of the eSports team Xset explained that there is a need for marketers, executives, financial advisors and even makeup and hair stylists.
While eSports can be an expensive career or hobby to break into due to needing stable internet, durable computers and other softwares. However, major companies such as Microsoft are doing their part to create more affordable alternatives in order to be inclusive.
The stigma around gaming is still prominent, however people can have a successful career and make a living off of their talents “We have to change the narrative when it comes to talking about gaming. Gaming can lead more people who look like us (African Americans) into STEM, it’s used as education formatting in schools,” Simon said. . “Gaming is not a waste of time.”