Goodbye, International Studies; Hello, Esports

by Garrett Davies on April 24, 2021

Goodbye, International Studies; Hello, Esports

by Garrett Davies on April 24, 2021

A recent article in Forbes noted that esports is a fast-growing industry and was valued at over 1 billion dollars in 2020. While still far behind many traditional sports in terms of revenue, infrastructure, and mainstream appeal, there is no doubt that if competitive video games fit your skill set or interest, the field offers a plethora of opportunities. 

Of course, competing and playing games for the school was a ton of fun, but I also started to get more involved outside of the game. I got more involved as a leader.

- Garrett Davies

A specific area of growth that interests me is collegiate play. Arcadia has taken the plunge into esports—as have many colleges across the country, creating a budding amateur competitive scene. 

For those who don't know, I am a senior International Studies major staring down the barrel at graduation this spring. During the first couple of years of my academic career, I thought that I would take my degree and bring it into a field where it would more or less be applicable. My dreams were to work for nonprofits or NGOs in the social sector focusing on politics and social work. These were things that I was and still am very passionate about, but while thinking about these careers made me happy, I wasn't exactly excited about them and hoped that would change once I found a position with an organization.

Things started to change this year, however. Going into the second year of our esports program and another year of me competing on the team, I started to learn a lot about how programs across the country work. Of course, competing and playing games for the school was a ton of fun, but I also started to get more involved outside of the game. I got more involved as a leader for the team and took on a position for the social media group. Working closely with our coaches and directors of the program gave me so much more insight into what it would be like to have a job in esports—and that started to excite me.

Now, I'm excited by the direction I'm taking after graduation. Transitioning from a collegiate player to a coach in the esports scene isn't an easy task, but it's something that I'm extremely passionate about and willing to put in the hard work.

- Garrett Davies

Coaching, directing, or organizing a team didn't exactly sound like tools I had in my wheelhouse from my International Studies degree. But what I failed to realize was that I gained so many of the skills necessary for these positions through my time on the Orientation program and internships I've had along the way. Translating those skills to a competitive team is something that sounded doable, and I realized that working with teams of student leaders or athletes was kind of what I wanted to do all along. Now, I'm excited by the direction I'm taking after graduation. Transitioning from a collegiate player to a coach in the esports scene isn't an easy task, but it's something that I'm extremely passionate about and willing to put in the hard work. 

My big takeaway is that you should never sell yourself or your skill set short. I've had a lot of people in my corner back me up as I worked through making these decisions, and you should have a supportive team around you as well. Also, don't be afraid to stray from your degree in terms of career path. I sometimes felt like an outsider in my major when sitting in on alumni meetings and career advice sessions, but now I know where I really belong.