Illinois Esports



Esports and gaming are a fast growing industry and the University of Illinois sees the opportunity for future research and careers. Illinois launched its first Esports focused course (RST 199 Esports Foundations, a second 8 week course) in Fall 2020, and launched the Game Studies and Design minor in 2022. Outside of introducing esports courses, the players and staff of Illini Esports are available as guest lecturers. We encourage reaching out to contact us to encourage your course to dive into the world of collegiate esports!

Why Esport Academics

Esports encourages STEAM engagement. STEAM skills are crucial to an esports athlete creating a deep engagement with computer technology, statistical analysis for scouting and strategizing pre-match and mid-match. 

Esports cultivates skills that are not found in standardized testing such as conceptual thinking, sportsmanship and teamwork. 

Esports offers many different opportunities for research in fields such as psychology, esports management, computer science, gender studies and design. 

This booming industry will continue to see growth in the coming years, creating a wide range of career opportunities for our graduates.

Why Game Studies

The game industry market value for 2021 was expected to exceed $175 billion, and $200 billion by the end of 2023. New technologies are also creating new markets; cloud-based gaming, for example, which was valued at just $152 million in 2019, had an estimated 23.7 million paying users in 2021 and is projected to grow in value to $6 billion by 2024.

A Minor in Game Studies & Design can diversify your educational portfolio and complement your major. This minor signals not only that you have acquired design skills (relevant to games, but also other interactive media) but also that you are aware of the impact of games across sectors of society, and that you understand how games and game technologies can be applied more broadly, and in ethical and socially constructive ways.

Any student who wants to learn more about game design, innovative applications of games and game technologies, the impact of games on society, or simply enjoys games should join the minor! Game Studies & Design will teach you to become a better creator and user of games and game technologies, and to think critically about their role in society.