Esports is large and continuing to grow, this we know.
Look no further than this past week when Fortnite held their inaugural World Cup Solo tournament, which was won yesterday by 16-year-old Bugha, who took home the $3 million prize.
Yes, $3 million!
As Esports continues to grow, many colleges and universities are getting in on the trend, institutions like Marquette announcing a move into Esports, becoming the first Power 5 school to have an Esports team as part of their varsity sports offerings.
Well HBCUs aren’t going to be left out of the Esports wave, and Hampton is making sure of that.
Per HBCU Gameday, we’ve learned that Hampton’s Department of Sports Management has secured a technology grant from the Department of Homeland Security for roughly $340,000 to develop an Esports lab, one that will enable students to take courses in the emerging field.
“This is a great example of how Hampton University continues to be ahead of the game.” said Hampton President, Dr. William R. Harvey in a press release. “We always provide students with the best opportunities to excel and advance in whatever profession they choose. We are excited to see the elevation of this new addition to our campus.”
This addition to the University’s curriculum will ensure that HBCU students aren’t shut out of this exploding career path.
“Esports is the newest thing in sports management. Since 2016, there has been $16 million allocated for Esports Scholarships. Many African Americans have not been afforded these opportunities. There is a void in diversity between HBCUs and the history of the white institution level.” said David C. Hughes, Instructor of Sports Management. “I’m looking to increase the diversity in Esports and also have a revenue opportunity for this institution at the same time.”
The grant will enable the University to build a lab and create courses geared towards Esports.
“The first thing we have to do is create a lab, then we’ll offer a concentration in Esports at the graduate level. In the lab, we’ll have TV’s, video games, computers, and people can practice their craft of playing video games,” continued Hughes. “They can learn how to play a video game, play with each other and against each other. The lab will be on the fifth floor of the library. We have a goal to kick things off summer 2020.”
While there have been a few tournaments geared towards HBCU students, Hampton is now taking a major step in enabling its students to not only compete in Esports, but to also develop a possible future career for themselves as well.