NIU student explores esports careers through work, play and study
April 13, 2021
For the past four years, NIU senior Alex Kramer has witnessed the growth of collegiate esports firsthand as a player, a student worker and a community ambassador, and through lectures and academics. Esports – the field of organized, competitive video gaming – is a multimillion-dollar industry with the same opportunities for coaching, marketing, management, data analysis and other careers that apply in traditional sports, at the high school, collegiate and professional levels.
Kramer remembers arriving at NIU as a freshman, excited to play on the club Overwatch team. “It was a very small team,” he reminisces. “There weren’t even real tryouts. Everyone who wanted to be on the team made it, and we competed in small tournaments with schools we hadn’t really heard of before. Now, we’re excited to have a varsity team and be part of the new Esports Collegiate Conference, which includes the MAC schools as well as Northeastern University.”
As Kramer developed his gameplay and rapport with fellow team members, he also learned about the wide range of esports careers through the NIU Esports Career Lecture Series. By interacting with professionals in the industry, Kramer realized that the