The first ever Ritual Motion Esports College Fair happened over March 27-28! Over 500 students registered with over 30 colleges and universities acting as exhibitors. If you missed the sessions, you can access all of them here.
Session One – Watch Here
Session One kicked off our college fair with a Q&A with NCAA and NFL Champion Ahman Green. In addition to his time playing football, Green is the Head Coach of Lakeland University’s esports program. Host Crystal Mills and Green discussed the convergence of esports, education, and careers, where Green talked about his time in the NFL and how he made the transition into esports after retirement.
Following Green was our second keynote speaker Dr. Dennis Rebelo. Dr. Rebelo is the creator of the Peak Storytelling model, his research-based method for crafting the narrative of who you are and what drives you and why, utilized by former professional athletes turned nonprofit leaders as well as entrepreneurs, CEOs, guidance professionals, and advisers throughout the world. In his new book, Story Like You Mean It, Dr. Rebelo helps you learn to communicate with ease and connect with others by constructing a self-narrative with intention and purpose. In his presentation Game Like You Mean It, Dr. Rebelo discussed the barriers students often face when it comes to speaking about themselves, and how they can organize their defining events and tell a story that will catch the attention of others.
Session One ended with an amazing panel covering the importance of esports on campus. Hosted by Bubba Gaeddert, Executive Director at Varsity Esports Foundation, he asked multiple questions about the influence of esports on campus in a roundtable discussion with other industry leaders. Joining him was Annabel Zinn, Co-founder and Vice President of UCF Esports; Sheridan McGuire, Esports Digital Content Coordinator at Learfield IMG College; Zach Gandara, Co-Founder and President of Providence College Esports; and Monica Miller, Ritual Motion Contributor and Collegiate Esports Consultant.
Session Two – Watch Here
Session Two began with a panel discussion hosted by Ritual Motion CMO Liz Murphy. Joining her was Jay Prescott of Grand View University Esports and Executive Director of NAECAD as well as Aaron Colaicomo, Coach at Johnson & Wales University Esports. The three casually discussed how esports can be used as an enrollment strategy.
In the next panel, host Crystal Mills moderated a discussion about how students can build their profiles to become a top college recruit. Joining her was Dr. Clint Kennedy of Learn2Esports and the North American Scholastic Esports Foundation; Shae Williams, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Coalition of Parents in Esports (COPE); Bubba Gaeddert, Executive Director of the Varsity Esports Foundation; and Allison “Skybilz” Waters, Esports Professional on Team OXG.
The final panel in Session Two covered the role of esports and gaming in developing desirable and transferable skills in the job market. Hosted by Monica Miller, Ritual Motion Contributor and Collegiate Esports Consultant, she was joined by Andrew “Cav” Caviston, Content Director at beastcoast; Justin M. Jacobson, Ford Models Esports Gaming & Talent Manager; Christian Kunkel, Director of University Partnerships at Nerd Street Gamers; and Alinn Louv, Director of Brand and Community at PlayVS.
Session Three – Watch Here
Session Three delivered amazing energy at the end of Day One! Ritual Motion CMO Liz Murphy was joined by special guest Vinayak Rao of Facebook Gaming in a Q&A about the evolving collegiate esports landscape.
The next panel, Charting a Gaming & Esports Industry Career Path, was moderated by Katherine Amoukhteh, Founder of Esports College & Career Pathways. She helped navigate a discussion about the current trends in the job market related to gaming and esports, and how to start planning a career. Joining her was Richard Huggan, Managing Director at Hitmarker; Danielle Rourke, Senior Higher Education Strategist at Dell Technologies; Jay Melamed, Co-Founder and CEO at XP League, and Nick Valencia, Esports Sales & Partnerships.
Day Two Presentation – Watch Here
While Day Two primarily consisted of networking opportunities for students, Ritual Motion CMO Liz Murphy delivered an amazing look at the results of our Student Esports Survey. In the Survey Respondent Profile, we found that 58% of submissions were from men, while 38% were from women. 41% were categorized between 18-24 years old, with the largest percentage currently enrolled in a 4-year college. Information in the survey covered the majors esports participants were pursuing, with an overwhelming 21% in Engineering. Out of those in engineering, 9% are working for a degree in Computer Engineering and 7% are chasing a degree in Software Engineering.
The opinions from parents of student esports competitors were largely positive. 60% of parents whose children play esports are “happy” or “love” that their children participate! In addition, we tried to learn more about the social influence of esports on campus. 60% of students have found a lot in common with people they have met through gaming. 57% of students claimed that gaming has helped them overcome social anxiety that comes with meeting new people.
When it comes to balancing video games and school, 43% of students try to get school work done before gaming or streaming. 41% admitted that it’s easy to balance school with gaming habits, and 37% claimed that gaming helps as a stress reliever when school work is overwhelming.