1st Edition

Understanding Collegiate Esports A Practitioner’s Guide to Developing Community and Competition

    186 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    186 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    As esports is one of the new and rapidly growing sports programs at the collegiate level, today’s campus leaders are increasingly asked to navigate the complexity of esports. This practical volume helps higher education professionals understand the expanding role of collegiate esports, describing the ecosystem of college esports and the experience for college players, as well as the connections between gaming and career preparation. Chapter authors offer an overview and practical look at the main structures and issues facing collegiate esports programs, athletes, and administrators. Chapters address the needs of the campus gaming community, building gender and racial inclusivity, athlete health, amateurism and the esports athlete, the role of the technology industry, governance, career paths, and coaching. This cutting-edge volume offers information to support campus leaders and practitioners in building and expanding collegiate esports programs in the quickly growing and changing aspects of both online and face-to-face campus communities.

    Foreword: Karen Weaver

    Preface: Jennifer Lee Hoffman, Regena Pauketat, & Kelsey A. Varzeas

    Chapter One: Video Games Go to College by Jennifer Lee Hoffman & Tricia Seifert

    Chapter Two: Shifting the Narrative: Using Esports to Amplify Historically Black Colleges & Universities by Wayne L. Black & Kishonna L. Gray

    Chapter Three: "It’s Just Part of The Game": Confronting Toxicity in Esports and Building Inclusive Environments by Regena Pauketat

    Chapter Four: Mental Health and Wellness for the Esports Student Athlete by Kelsey A. Varzeas

    Chapter Five: Coaching in Esports: Promoting Well-Being & Performance by Yeonhee Cho, Eric S. Cohen, Autumn E. Freund, Jason Yip, & Jin Ha Lee

    Chapter Six: (E)sports Medicine on Campus by Lindsey Migliore

    Chapter Seven: Organizing and Governing Collegiate Esports by David Welch Suggs. Jr.

    Chapter Eight: Community, Career, & Competition: The University of Washington and the Future of Esports Program Building by Justin Camputaro, Trevor Whiton, Jason Hansen, & Adam Serafin

    Chapter Nine: Establishing a Conference Esports Program and Related Legal Issues For Collegiate Esports by Carolayne Henry


    Jennifer Lee Hoffman is an Associate Professor of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Policy and faculty in the Center for Leadership in Athletics at the University of Washington, USA. Dr. Hoffman was the recipient of ASHE’s 2021 Special Merit Award.

    Regena Pauketat is a doctoral student of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Policy and a Research Assistant in the Center for Leadership in Athletics at the University of Washington, USA.

    Kelsey A. Varzeas is a doctoral candidate of Higher Education and Student Affairs at The Ohio State University, USA.

    "The responsibility and opportunity to create an esports environment that allows collegiate participants to be their full authentic selves belong to all of us. With their book, Understanding Collegiate Esports: A Practitioner’s Guide to Developing Community and Competition, Jennifer Hoffman, Regena Pauketat, & Kelsey Varzeas have decided to claim their roles as co-conspirators in this journey to create an equitable esports space for all. Understanding Collegiate Esports: A Practitioner’s Guide to Developing Community and Competition and most specifically the guiding questions at the end of every chapter offer a blueprint for building esports programs rooted in positive community and productive competition.

    Throughout the book, the chapter authors provide historical context on how we have found ourselves in our current iteration of esports in ways that honor the lived experiences of those the gaming industry and esports have systematically marginalized. Understanding Collegiate Esports: A Practitioner’s Guide to Developing Community and Competition also provides hope with insightful recommendations and provocations to ensure that we co-construct a present & future version of esports that is diverse, equitable and inclusive while providing the sense of belonging that gaming has offered so many of us."

    Verta Maloney, Co-Founder & Chief Innovation Officer, at the*gameHERs, https://thegamehers.com/

    "Understanding Collegiate Esports: A Practitioner’s Guide to Developing Community and Competition is something that every practitioner entering the world of collegiate esports should have on their bookshelves. My favorite sections have to deal with protecting the health and wellness of these athletes – this volume lists the most common physical/mental problems these athletes face and provides clear step-by-step solutions. I personally expect to be flipping back to these sections regularly. On a personal note, as a dietitian, I need to say that I love that the authors give a nod to the importance of nutrition for peak health and performance! One chapter provides simple and effective hydration guidelines to enhance player well-being.

    Bottom line: If you’re working with collegiate esports athletes, you need this book. Don’t let your program fall behind."

    Casey Thomas, RD, Founder, Gamer Diet, Performance Nutrition for Esports Athletes, https://gamerdiet.gg/

    "Esports is one of the fastest growing forms of competitive entertainment in the world, yet it is hardly new in higher education. College students have been gaming in residence dorms, libraries, lecture halls and, more recently, in state-of-the-art campus gaming lounges. With the increasing popularity of esports, there is a demand on administrators and leaders in higher education to create and enhance the presence of esports on their campus. Understanding Collegiate Esports: Developing Competition and Community for the Higher Education Practitioner provides an effective blueprint for campus leaders to create a successful esports program for their institution.

    Over the course of nine chapters, readers of Understanding Collegiate Esports will be provided the tools and knowledge necessary to grow the presence of esports and video gaming on campus. Readers who are new to the industry will be quickly brought up to speed on esports’ role on campus, the important stakeholders, and the dilemmas and opportunities shared with traditional sports. Practitioners already familiar with the field will find solutions to long-standing issues in esports including legal issues, gender & racial diversity, and the health and well-being of the esports student-athlete. The wide range of perspectives from the contributors of Understanding Collegiate Esports provides a balanced approach to understanding how esports are, and should be, run on collegiate campuses."

    Cullum Brownbridge, Doctoral Student, Brock University