The Meteoric Rise of eSports

Interactive media and games increasingly pervade and shape our society. In addition to their dominant roles in entertainment, videogames play growing roles in education, arts, science and health. These talks bring together a diverse set of experts to provide interdisciplinary perspectives on these media regarding their history, technologies, scholarly research, industry, artistic value and potential future. As the speakers and title suggest, the series also provides a topical lens for the diverse aspects of our lives.

Join us TUESDAY’S From April 4th until June 6th from 12pm-1pm in the Sapp Center for Science Teaching & Learning RM 114

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Also listed as one-unit course BIOE196. For more information contact

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Whalen Rozelle

Whalen Rozelle, The Meteoric Rise of eSports. From a niche pastime to global stadium events watched by millions worldwide, the growth of esports has set a blistering pace for a sport born into a post-internet age. As we move out of esports' infancy, the question for pro players, team owners and publishers alike is how to build the foundation for a sport that truly lasts. In this talk, I'll be sharing our experience as the Riot Games esports team - creator of League of Legends and operator of 13 professional leagues worldwide. We believe that three critical steps are necessary for long-term success within esports: Fandom, Economics and Stability. Fandom comes courtesy of an engaged, passionate community and a high quality experience that lets them build lasting bonds with teams and pro players. Economics strengthens the sport by translating that fandom into strong and sustainable growth via smart investment and structure. Stability achieves what no esport has yet to date - security and viability for the long-term future, not just the next few years. At Riot, we believe that esports' nearly unlimited long term potential is accompanied by a host of challenges. Having spent years at the eye of the storm, it's our hope that we can break through to a future worthy of fans and pro players. I'll give insights into our learnings along the way and the challenges we face as we build towards that future.

Whalen Rozelle is the Co-Director of esports for Riot Games and oversees the strategic development of LoL esports across all regions. Joining Riot in 2012, Whalen previously worked in the finance sector for Goldman Sachs, Cornerstone Research and Google but as a lifelong gamer followed his passion and joined Curse in product management before joining A Bit Lucky, a mobile games startup. Whalen’s lifelong passion for games is twinned by his status as a diehard traditional sports fan – hailing from the Bay Area, he staunchly supports the San Francisco Giants (baseball), the 49ers (football) and the Golden State Warriors (basketball).