Robert Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, will introduce new esports minor to University of Michigan.

Robert Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard will be gifting $4 million dollars to the University of Michigan to launch a new esports minor.

The new esports minor coming to University of Michigan is one that will catapult a new wave of student learning. A multimillion dollar gift from Robert Kotick will establish multiple different pathways. Thus, opening up the option students to pursue esports at University of Michigan. The question is, what exactly are these pathways?

Where does Robert Kotick $4 million go aside from esports minor?

Kotick’s $4 million gift will fund a professor to lead the development of the program. He will combine best-in-class research and instruction in computer science, sports management and user experience. On top of that, other disciplines will receive support, the University of Michigan news column states. With this funding, he hopes that this will lay a good base for student preparing for the esports industry.

“Esports is poised for explosive growth. I am thrilled to join the University of Michigan to develop a program that will cultivate the talent to meet the needs of this complex and evolving industry." Kotick said. “Unlike traditional sports, esports is truly a participant sport that anyone can play and enjoy."

<em>Robert Kotick is the Activision/Blizzard CEO and is helping the company grow. </em>
Robert Kotick is the Activision/Blizzard CEO and is helping the company grow. 

What makes this funding interesting is how it will not just go into competitive esports. This funding’s focus is set on helping students really develop careers in esports. The esports funding will have subdivisions across multiple different schools at the University. In particular, the press release highlights the School of Information, School of Kinesiology and the College of Engineering as likely candidates.

This introduction to non-gaming careers in the esports industry is coming at a perfect time in esports' current landscape.

Collegiate Esports continues to grow with esports minor

Esports as an industry is continuing to trend upward and its effect is creating a society more accepting of it. As a result, College Universities have been implementing scholarship programs for these esports athletes. 175 colleges and Universities are members of the National Association of Collegiate Esports. While Michigan is not one of these Universities, a new esports minor will prompt further growth.

<em>Rutgers University recently built a new esports facility for their esports teams. Photo via </em><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow"><em>Rutgers</em></a><em>.</em>
Rutgers University recently built a new esports facility for their esports teams. Photo via Rutgers.

More of these colleges are also beginning to introduce scholarship programs for esports athletes.  As the competitive gaming sector continues to develop in media, the want to learn it in-depth continues to grow. 

“This generous gift by Bobby Kotick gives us an opportunity to contribute to an understanding of video gaming broadly. Esports more specifically as a tremendously important cultural and economic phenomenon." said School of Information Dean Thomas Finholt in the press release.

The new University of Michigan esports minor is one that will captivate a new niche of interest. More students will see an opportunity to pursue a sports based path in gaming. This opportunity granted by Kotick will open up a number of opportunities for Michigan students. It will be interesting to see the University of Michigan’s development in esports through this gift.

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