The Institute - September 2020 - TI14




f you're an avid video game player He also dabbled in game design and
like IEEE Member Davon Williams
game development while attend[above], you've probably wondered ing Georgia Southern University, in
if you could make a career in the world Statesboro, where he earned a bachof competitive gaming by, for example, elor's degree in computer science and
live-streaming your games or becoming helped establish a game-development
a coach or announcer.
club. Today he is a computer scientist
E-sports companies and organizations working primarily for the U.S. Army Netwant to know whether a prospective work Enterprise Technology Command,
employee has the knowledge, train- in southern Arizona.
ing, skills, and professionalism they're
"Establishing a lasting e-sports career
seeking. That's true whether they're means making enough money to supevaluating potential players or coaches. port yourself and live comfortably," WilBut no schools have offered a degree or liams says. But, he says, there is no road
certification programs to validate such map that lays out how to go from playing
video games to becoming a professional.
Williams saw the need and desire for
"We're seeing a lot of rising talent in
training, so he decided to launch the the e-sports world not make it all the
Centry Academy of Gaming and Esports. way to establishing a career," he says,
CAGE is an online school that plans to "because they don't have the foundaoffer degrees in four e-sports special- tional business, marketing, legal, and
izations: player, coach, streamer, and networking skills they need before they
announcer. Williams says the courses will
step into the arena."
give students the background, knowledge,
One of the hardest parts of e-sports is
and experience necessary to survive in time management, Williams says. People
the ever-changing e-sports landscape.
streaming their game play online, for
Although some universities now offer example, must figure out how to divide
degrees in the field of e-sports, Williams
their day between playing the game, editsays, they mostly focus on marketing and ing the footage, uploading it, interacting
other business concerns. "They aren't with and building their audience, and
specifically targeted at gamers," he says. planning for the future.
Williams, who says he's been gaming
"Having foundational knowledge in
since he could hold a remote, isn't cur- e-sports allows gamers to not only gain
rently a professional player, but he has knowledge but also know when and where
made money by competing online, as to apply that knowledge in a time-effective
well as from coaching and sponsorships. way to stay productive," Williams says.


SEP 2020




CAGE's decision to offer four majors "is
not set in stone," Williams says. "Additional
majors may be added based on the interest
and the job-placement potential," he says.
CAGE's instructors include Williams
and Emily Cooper, one of the cofounders. Cooper, a middle school teacher,
is a guild leader of the multiplayer
role-playing game Final Fantasy XIV.
CAGE has four other cofounders including IEEE Member Skyler Nix, a senior
principal system engineer at Northrop
Grumman in Albuquerque. Nix is responsible for the startup's marketing strategy.
Williams and Nix met through the IEEE
Fort Huachuca (Arizona) Section.
CAGE's course progression is modeled
by knowledge or skill level from introductory 100-level classes to 500-level
courses for specialized majors. Each level
contains a capstone project that the student must complete before advancing.
Introductory classes, which cover
basics such as how e-sports differ from
traditional sports and what kinds of jobs
are available, "will give us a chance to lay


Aspiring E-Sports Pros
Have a New Training Ground

A lot of gamers would love to pursue a
career doing what they love, according
to a survey conducted last year by Limelight Networks, a content delivery service. Of 4,500 gamers surveyed, more
than 35 percent stated they would quit
their current job to work in e-sports if
they could make enough money.
If a gamer does break into the profession, it can be financially lucrative.
According to an article on TheStreet, players can earn prizes of up to US $200,000,
plus more from sponsorship deals and
merchandise and ticket sales. Those who
stream their game play online could be
paid about $5 per viewer per month.
Players aren't the only ones making
money. Coaches can fetch $80,000 annually, and announcers can earn $1,000 per
broadcast, the article reports.

The Institute - September 2020

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