The world of competitive, organized video gaming is an ever-growing, billion-dollar industry. With the popularity of esports, leading colleges are offering training at the varsity-level and Humber is quickly becoming a leader in the field.
Kevin Tang is a Sport Management student and esports community coordinator and has been part of Humber’s esports team since its launch in 2018. The opportunity to participate in the competitive sport on campus was initiated by Geoffrey Lachapelle, esports coordinator and Game Programming instructor, and Kris Alexander, a professor of video games, design, programming, and esports infrastructure.
Helping to provide a new learning experience for students while proving that esports is a growing career option, students are able to find new ways to apply their skills and passion for gaming with the support of the Faculty of Media & Creative Arts.
Tang began volunteering as a researcher with the Faulty while studying Game Programming at Humber. He helped successfully launch the esports varsity team at Humber and is now continuing to work with the team, expanding on his skills and professionalism in an esports environment.
“We are the first to install a more rigid framework that is meant to be long-term, sustainable and create a more professional environment at a collegiate level in Canada for esports,” says Tang. “At Humber, we hold students to professional standards, and they have the same responsibilities as athletic players. It’s not a new thing in the world of collegiate sports, but it is definitely new for collegiate esports in Canada.”
A recent article by CBS News, says colleges in the United States are starting to offer degrees in esports, keeping up with the growing market and career opportunities. Esports often take the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, individually or as teams. Top esports players can also earn as much as the highest-paid athletes in traditional sports such as golf or tennis.
“Humber gives more advanced frameworks and puts us in a position to provide opportunities to practice esports in Canada. It is a widely growing field internationally and allows us to pull students from all over as long as we show them that the program gives them opportunities to grow and develop,” says Tang.
Tang says working as a community coordinator has helped him build professional skills and earn recognition for other esports professionals. He says the esports industry is rapidly changing, but having the opportunity to work at Humber while studying allows him to build his network and work towards a career in the industry. Tang works to manage seven gaming teams, schedule and coordinate tournaments, communicate with faculty and connect with teams and schools in the surrounding area.
“Humber’s esports team is an education environment first and play comes second,” says Tang. “Education needs to be involved and it is a safe environment where it’s acceptable to fail and improvement is encouraged.”
As postsecondary institutions are becoming more recognized as scouting locations for professional teams, Humber is finding new ways to build their reputation in the esports industry.
Humber currently has two gaming stations on campus and won the College COD [Call of Duty] League tournament last year.
This week, Humber will be attending the EGLX (Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo) video game expo. EGLX unites gamers to experience everything gaming. Humber is bringing the Usability Lab to Canada’s largest gaming expo and will be showcasing game programming, 3D design, animation, VR and more. At the expo, Tang will be introducing guests to esports at Humber, while also highlighting the skills and equipment available to students to excel in the sport.