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Published: April 22, 2021

Written by: Kyamil Nasuf

  • The University of Michigan will launch an esports minor with focus on understanding the industry
  • The esports program is supposed to be up and running by 2022 and is the result of a $4 million donation by Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick
  • UM is the right place to host this program argues university Dean Thomas Finholt

Esports are gaining traction on a college level and the University of Michigan is now looking to cash in a $4 million donation and bring its own esports program online.

The University of Michigan to Get Involved with Esports

The University of Michigan will use a $4 million donation to create a new video gaming minor degree at the university and join in the tide of college esports in the United States.

The minor is designed to familiarize students with the quickly-expanding esports industry and caught them up on potential job opportunities in the sector.

With the United States proving a focal point for the majority of esports jobs worldwide, students are poised to benefit from learning and putting their experience to practice after graduation.

Some schools are already partnering with esports teams and organizations, similar to what Gen.G is doing with the University of Kentucky. The donation was contributed by Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick.

Now, the university will take until 2022 to make sure that the program is up and running, attracting talented players as well as studious individuals who are keen on finding out more about electronic sports.

The program will focus on research and instruction in computer science, sports management and user experience. Kotick, who is a graduate from the university, had this to say when commenting on his gesture:

“Esports is poised for explosive growth, and I am thrilled to join the University of Michigan to develop a program that will cultivate the talent to meet the needs of this complex and evolving industry. Unlike traditional sports, esports is truly a participant sport that anyone can play and enjoy.”

UM Is the Right Place to Start an Esports Program

The donation was welcomed warmly by Dean Thomas Finholt who argued that the University of Michigan was the right place to set up a new esports program. Approaching the topic from a more academic angle, Dean Finholt explained that the university would be able to address the “critical social and behavioral questions surrounding games and game use, and the design of games.”

It’s refreshing to see the University of Michigan bring its entire academic expertise into building a program that will grant students and opportunity to play and socialize, but also explore a much deeper side of esports and the industry as a whole.

“Esports has very different, unique aspects that we need to begin to understand. This is what makes it so exciting,” added Mark Rosentraub, a professor of sports management. The University of Michigan is just one of the schools to endorse esports as a path to education.

We have covered extensively on who the current big names in college esports are and we expect to see Michigan be among them.

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