William’s Three Quick Tips for Teaching Esports

Esports is the hottest topic at Universities around the world. But almost no literature exists to teach esports in classroom.

Until now.

I wrote THE BOOK OF ESPORTS to be a clear and accessible overview of competitive gaming, perfect to accompany college esports courses. THE BOOK OF ESPORTS includes both a history of modern gaming, and a series of models and frameworks to predict how the industry will evolve. And it is written by a true expert: I’ve raised millions in venture capital to found two successful esports companies. And I co-host the hit Business of Esports podcast.

 But most importantly, I’ve taught esports myself. For the last two years, I’ve held an honorary professorship at Becker College, where I trialed and tested THE BOOK OF ESPORTS in my classroom. I know how hard it is to teach esports. That is exactly why I wrote THE BOOK OF ESPORTS.

To those professors preparing their own esports courses, here are three tips I’ve learned from teaching and writing THE BOOK OF ESPORTS to get the most out of your gaming class:


Divide and Conquer: Esports can be tough to teach because students often hold strong opinions about the space, usually formed from their own gaming experiences. I’ve learned to take advantage of this by framing my lectures around rivalries (for example, between competing game publishers), and asking students to ‘choose sides.’ Most chapters in THE BOOK OF ESPORTS’ revolve around similar industry conflicts to create natural points of student engagement.

Justify Speculation: Esports is challenging to teach because it is still in-progress. But this also makes esports uniquely compelling. Esports isn’t a purely historical event, but also a current trend. I’ve learned to encourage students to aggressively speculate on what they think will happen in the industry. But also to justify these speculations using historical evidence. THE BOOK OF ESPORTS introduces predictive frameworks precisely to help guide these conversations.

Too Big Will Fail: The final hurdle I’ve hit when teaching esports is that the subject is incredibly broad. Is esports about pro teams? About games? About streaming companies? Or something else entirely, like tournament platforms? I’ve found that to teach esports well, students need to constantly be oriented in its ecosystem. THE BOOK OF ESPORTS provides the EEE Model (short for Entire Esports Ecosystem) for this purpose. I try to start every class with this ecosystem, clearly labelling a single segment as the focus for the current lecture. For example: “Today’s class is about Twitch, so we’re going to focus on streaming platforms and how they compete with one another.” This helps manage discussions, and also creates a fun end-of-class climax where students ‘open the ecosystem’ to discuss how our targeted learnings ripple across the broader industry.

Hopefully these three quick tips help you teach esports a little more effectively. And if you’d like to learn more, I have more resources to help. You can preorder THE BOOK OF ESPORTS, available wherever books are sold. Or you can reach out to me directly. I prefer LinkedIn, where I literally answer every message I receive. I’d be happy to share a little of what I know (and even provide a free, digital copy of THE BOOK OF ESPORTS to evaluate if you’re considering teaching the book at your high school, college or university).

 Esports is important. But that doesn’t make it easy to teach. We’re all in this together –that’s part of what makes this such an exciting moment in academia. It is a rare event for an entirely new subject, and one that students are deeply passionate about, to enter University curricula. By leveraging our mutual learnings, we can help make teaching esports the best experience possible for both students and professors worldwide.

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