Twitch will assist with new Newhouse course in esports and media

By Wendy S. Loughlin

June 6, 2018

This fall, the Newhouse School will launch an innovative new course called Esports & Media, which is the first university course of its kind. Developed in close collaboration with social video service Twitch, the course will explore the rapidly growing world of esports, tracing the historical roots of competitive video games to the current multibillion-dollar industry.

“With the growing interest in and popularity of competitive gaming—not just in terms of participation, but also broadcasting and marketing—we made it a priority to offer our students a holistic look at esports and media,” says Olivia Stomski, director of the Newhouse Sports Media Center and a professor of practice in television, radio and film. She will co-teach the course with Chris Hanson, assistant professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences, who has previously taught courses in gaming.

photo of mike lucero
Mike Lucero, global director of client strategies at Twitch, visited Newhouse in April. Qian Zhu

“The world of esports is expanding at an astonishing rate, as are the number of careers associated with the industry,” says Hanson. “By collaborating with Twitch, students in our course will have the opportunity to gain invaluable insights and cutting-edge experience from leaders in the field.”

Twitch is the world’s leading social video service and community for gamers where 15 million community members gather each day to watch, talk and chat about shared interests. Twitch’s video service is the backbone of both live and on-demand distribution for the entire video game ecosystem, as well as adjacent interests including the creative arts, vlogging (IRL), traditional sports and more.

“Syracuse University’s Esports & Media course will provide valuable insight into the entrepreneurial spirit inherent in the gaming industry, which is very much aligned with our Twitch Student program," said Mark Candella, director of strategic partnerships at Twitch. “We envision this leading to students from every discipline finding opportunity to contribute in their own unique ways to the competitive gaming scene as it continues to gain momentum.”

Students in the course will examine esports through multiple lenses to understand their intersection with media and broadcasting. The history, technologies and business models behind esports will be discussed, along with the roles of teams, leagues and services like Twitch. Students will work directly esports organizations to produce original content in a range of forms, such as written analysis, live broadcasting, reporting and/or developing marketing and advertising plans.

“We will be working with Twitch throughout the semester,” says Stomski. “We will have a dedicated Twitch channel for our class and Twitch will assist with arranging guest speakers and supplying guidance to our students as they navigate the ever-changing world of esports and media.”

The course is open to all Syracuse University students. For more information, contact Stomski at (315) 443-4065 or okstomsk@syr.edu.