E-sports brings new opportunities for students


Gabrielle Korein

Students play video games together at the Gaming Gaunlet, an all night video gaming event hosted by Loyola’s e-sports team on August 26 and 27. Loyola’s e-sports team provides students the oppurtunity to get aqainted with the industry.

Gabrielle Korein, Photo Editor

With the launch of its new e-sports team, the Loyola Wolf Pack challenges the societal standard that video games cannot be taken seriously. 

After hosting its first event Aug. 26 and 27, the team is ready to compete for the university and has high hopes for the upcoming season, according to the team’s coach, Lumen Vera.

“With our program specifically my goal is to build a community around it first and then build the competition on that,” Vera said. “Being able to have students come here, thrive in here, and meet each other, grow and make this a hub that makes everyone feel comfortable and feel safe while at the same time providing experiences and providing connections and networking opportunities to professionals within the industry.” 

As an e-sports competitor himself, Vera said he hopes the team will help students realize the potential the industry has to offer. 

According to Vera, e-sports offers a variety of avenues into the professional sphere. E-sports is not solely an industry for content creators but also for musicians, artists, lawyers, healthcare professionals, and so on, Vera said, adding that the booming industry provides boundless opportunities for students looking for careers. 

“The e-sports industry is basically a major hub for essentially almost every single department, every single type of career to come in because you need everyone to help run the ecosystem,” Vera said. “The major misconception is that it is just video gaming, we just sit and play games and that’s all we do. There is more to it.”

E-sports is indeed a lucrative industry for emerging professionals with the top earning professional e-sports team, TSM, were valued at $540 million in 2022, a 32% increase from 2020 according to Forbes. 

E-sports event coordinator and public relations senior Sara Candia joined the team as a gateway into the advantageous industry. 

“I’m not a big video gamer, but I do want to be part of the industry, so having an e-sports program on our campus provides opportunities,” Candia said. 

Candia was shocked over Loyola’s decision to fund an e-sports team as video gaming is often neglected and undermined by popular culture, she said

Although e-sports is gaining popularity as an industry, misconceptions and criticism about video games and gamers are still rampant in society. However, as more public institutions such as universities begin to take e-sports seriously, space opens up for these misconceptions to fall to the wayside.