Business of gaming comes to USF eSports Summit

You may love the graphics, the controls, and what happens on the screen, but students who attended the University of South Florida's first e-summit love the work, opportunities, and dollar signs.

Video game makers like Epic Games, Fortnight, League of Legends, and E Sports rake in billions every year churning out games for every age, interest, and skill level. 

Some students at the Vinik Sport and Education Management Program at USF's Muma College of Business hope to leave college and enter the world of e-sports. They got their feet wet Wednesday at the eSports Summit.

Jordan Bellar is a 2016 graduate of the Vinik program and now works for Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of the Philadelphia 76'ers NBA team and the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. The company expanded into gaming to reach new audiences.

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"They're not the ones watching the live broadcasts on cable," says Bellar. " Most of them have cut their cable and just have internet, so they're watching stuff on Twitch and these live streaming platforms. We're creating content for them to watch."

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik already has ownership in gaming companies, so growing in Tampa could be the next step.

"It's a natural fit for Tampa to be the next place for a big event," Bellar said of the summit.

MBA candidate Simone Jenkis attended the summit because she believes video games could also play a bigger part in teaching.

"I would love the opportunity to see gaming in our school curriculums to foster more computer science education," she said. 

Many at the summit looked for new ways to make playing games pay off. Organizers say the business of gaming is just getting started.