Academics oftentimes have a hard time convincing college and university administrators of the meteoric rise, widespread attraction, social importance, and career potential of Esports. This has been attributed rightfully to the absence of genuine research data supporting anecdotal observations.
Granted, companies such NewZoo and SuperData have been undertaking such research since 2007 and 2009 respectively, but similar high-quality research from within the academic community has largely been missing.
Thanks to the work of Professor David Hedlund, Assistant Professor in the Division of Sports Management at St. John’s University in Queens, New York, we have now data that clarifiers for many the lure, attraction, and importance of Esports to the currently matriculating Digital Native generation, and recent graduating classes.
Hedlund’s study comprised two distinct Esports cohorts: a study of experts, and a study of gamers and video game players. A total number of 1,421 respondents yielded 1,165 usable responses. These inquiries covered 49 of 50 states and encompassed the breadth of existing collegiate Esports conferences, organizations, federations, and groups.
The charts below present the findings of Hedlund’s research and should prove useful in conveying to administrators the importance of including Esports as a seminal intramural and intercollegiate sport.