New Textbook Serves to Educate Next Generation of eSports and Gaming Students

November 18, 2020
Courtesy of Human Kinetics
Courtesy of Human Kinetics

David P. Hedlund, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Graduate Program Director, and Chairperson in the Division of Sport Management at the The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies, is the lead editor of the recently published textbook Esports Business Management, along with coeditors Gil Fried and R.C. “Rick” Smith III.

“Despite being surrounded by electronic games for at least the last four decades, there are surprisingly few experts on the business of gaming and eSports,” Dr. Hedlund explained. “Coupled with my work here at St. John’s University on the creation and development of both eSports activities and academic offerings such as the recently approved Video Game Development program, I have spent countless hours researching and learning about the electronic gaming industry, all while leveraging my expertise to help organizations and entrepreneurial ventures in the space. As a result, the other coeditors and I were fortunate many of these individuals were willing to contribute to this writing project and help educate the next generation of industry professionals.”

Esports Business Management is the first textbook to present a comprehensive look into the world of eSports business and teaches both aspiring students and sport professionals about this rapidly expanding industry in which hundreds of millions of people play and compete daily. Dr. Hedlund and the editors brought together 47 contributors in total, each with their own areas of expertise, to write about the most important areas of managing the business of eSports.

The text begins with a basic overview of the eSports industry and then explores the interests and concerns of various tiers of stakeholders. It goes on to talk about the governance at multiple levels, from the international level to college conferences. Next, the core chapters of the book examine topics such as eSports marketing, sponsorship, events, venues, communications, finance and economics, legal issues, and player and team management. Finally, it examines careers found in the various segments of the industry and looks at the future of eSports.

To provide an in-depth look, Dr. Hedlund produced a series of videos introducing and describing each chapter using the same technology used by eSports professionals to record and stream content. These videos and additional online resources, such as case studies, accompany the book and help readers gain a better understanding of this expanding industry.

“We started writing this book almost a year before the outbreak of COVID-19 in the US,” Dr. Hedlund said. “When the pandemic began, all of a sudden everything either shut down or went virtual; eSports and electronic gaming were some of the few activities that continued without substantial stoppage. In fact, many gaming-focused companies saw significant increases in their user base, business, and bottom lines—much of which continues to this day.”

He added, “There is so much opportunity in the gaming industry, and it has been one of the honors of my life to bring together all of these people to write Esports Business Management. Educators need to always remember that one of our primary purposes is to teach students skills they can leverage to gain and succeed in future employment. Because we can always do better, this book is a tribute to those efforts and an opportunity to help educate students for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”