OSU Offers New Esports Program To Students

Oklahoma State's Student Union is the home to the university's Esports Arena, where students are taking gaming to the next level.

Thursday, December 7th 2023, 8:38 pm



Esports, or playing video games competitively, is becoming common enough that schools are beginning to offer certificates and degrees for it.

Oklahoma State's Student Union is the home to the university's Esports Arena where students are taking gaming to the next level.

Esports is a rapidly growing industry based on the competitive nature of gaming.

“It's a multi-billion-dollar industry, and it's trending that way. It's trending upwards still and so we're trying to ride the wave,” Shaun Noll said.

Noll is the manager behind OSU's Esports Arena offering students a unique opportunity diving into the world of gaming.

"The industry is so large, and most people think you have to be the player to make it in esports, and that's actually probably one of the lowest percentages in terms of jobs out there in esports,” Noll said.

As for education, students can earn a certificate in esports. The program requires 15 credit hours for completion, but OSU is not just playing games. It's shaping the next generation of esports professionals.

What started as a certificate program has evolved into a gamer's paradise.

Students say it’s always the parents who come for school visits that have the most questions.

“When they hear about all the different opportunities that aren’t just playing games, they think it’s very interesting,” OSU student Garrett Hines said.

Currently taking classes for Sports Management, Hines is set to begin the esports certification next semester.

He's the mind behind the scenes of OSU's esports competitions.

“We just had a tournament last weekend that had 81 participants. It was considered a regional because it was so gigantic, and the most shocking part about the Smash Bro's tournament is that it was actually hosted by students for people in the certification as their final,” Hines said.

The arena serves as a hub for the OSU Varsity esports team practices, fostering competitive gaming and bringing production elements.

“There's a PC over there that can grab footage from every single computer in this arena through NDI sourcing. On the other side of that is where the shout casters sit. Those are always students that volunteer to come out,” Hines said.

Garrett says the demand for skilled professionals in esports is skyrocketing, making programs like OSU's a valuable asset for students seeking a career in esports.

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