The State of Esports in Colorado -

Video games used to be a niche hobby for gamers. Over the past few years, however, the video game industry has expanded into numerous segments, including esports. In esports, gamers compete against each other on various video game titles and genres. Depending on the game, this can be done in teams or individually. Aside from rewarding players for gaming, the esports industry also has its share of benefits.

As of 2022, nearly 250 universities in the US offer esports-related scholarships to participating students. Among many factors, the heavy investment in the growing industry from notable figures in other industries helps provide motivation and incentive for aspiring professional gamers to pursue what they are passionate about. At the same time, these programs also ensure institutions still promote academic excellence.

Aside from providing a healthy avenue for gamers to compete against each other, it’s also a great way for them to meet like-minded communities and socialize off-campus. Like traditional sports, the bigger the esports industry, the more fans and players can look forward to live events and tournaments. Viewers and fans of local teams can also participate in the growing esports scene by placing bets on favored teams or players.

This has boosted the demand for esports betting tips as fans seek to learn more about how esports tournaments and events work. Learning betting odds—whether fractional, decimal, or American—and deciding on a betting strategy can help improve one’s winning odds while boosting esports revenue by contributing to viewership and event attendance. As the Colorado esports scene grows, seeing more opportunities emerging for gamers of all ages will be interesting.

Esports venue investments in Colorado -

Esports venue investments in Colorado

Aside from the rise of esports programs in colleges across the state, we’ve also seen further investments in esports venues and spaces. In a previous post, we highlighted the premier institution, CU Boulder — or the University of Colorado in Boulder — as a stunning campus focusing on academic excellence, vibrant student life, and diverse academic offerings catering to the student body’s wide spectrum of interests and career goals. The university currently has 15 total gaming-oriented student organizations.

In terms of esports, CU Boulder recently announced a collaboration with Dell’s gaming brand, Alienware, to establish the university’s first-ever esports and gaming lounge on campus. For the ground-breaking initiative, Alienware funded $1.2 million for the lounge to feature the brand’s laptops and PCs, gaming peripherals, a broadcast studio, and a lounge area. In addition to the facilities, Alienware also announced $40,000 undergraduate scholarship offerings for CU Boulder students funded by the donation. By establishing the gaming and esports area, students and gamers in the university now have a dedicated space to meet, practice, and even produce gaming content.

Other investments in esports venues and spaces include Lakewood, Colorado’s establishment of a massive esports and gaming arena in 2018. Named the Localhost Arena, the 18,000-square-foot venue would be occupied by the Philadelphia-based N3rd Street Gamers. The arena was set to target local esports organizations and marquee names in the local community and was outfitted with the newest gaming equipment and hardware, including 120 custom-built PCs and a range of consoles such as the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch, allowing for a variety of esports genres.

Making careers out of esports -

Making careers out of esports

Of course, aside from providing well-equipped spaces for gamers and aspiring esports professionals, constant investments in the esports industry also ensure that Colorado’s gaming community has gaming-related career opportunities to look forward to beyond university and high school esports programs. Among the many future careers possible in the growing industry, students are interested in pursuing game design and development. As the industry continues to grow, students are more likely to understand core mechanics and the work that goes into creating beloved video games.

Outside of career opportunities behind the scenes, students can also compete professionally in larger esports leagues, where they may have the chance to compete on international stages worldwide. For professional players in the Overwatch League, for example, earnings can go up to an average base salary of $106,000. Other esports titles also offer similar pay, ranging in the hundreds and thousands of dollars. The more skilled a gamer is, the more teams and players can earn sizable winnings from tournament prize pools, which can go up to millions of dollars for popular games like League of Legends.

Finally, even if gamers discover other non-gaming-related aspirations going forward, building experience in esports and local gaming communities can also equip them with transferable skills in other career opportunities, whether technical skills like assembling computers, programming, and coding, or developing necessary interpersonal skills like collaboration, communication, and leadership.

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