Curley Center students, Penn State eSports Club combine on tournament webcast

April 07, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — An eight-team eSports tournament on the University Park campus this weekend provides an opportunity beyond competition as students from the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism plan to partner with the Penn State Electronic Sports Club to webcast the two-day event.

Four teams from Penn State and four teams from other universities will compete, playing “League of Legends” with the action available at https://www.twitch.tv/psuesports.

Club members will combine with Curley Center students for play-by-play coverage, analysis and reporting of the quarterfinals Saturday and the semifinals and championship final Sunday. In addition, the championship final will be streamed, allowing live viewership of the webcast, at 5 p.m. Sunday in Carnegie Cinema.

Competitive electronic gaming, known as eSports, has grown exponentially in recent years. According to engadget.com, eSports global revenue reached $612 million in 2015 and “League of Legends” generated $1 billion in microtransactions in 2014. The eSports industry, which already conducts some competitions in major arenas across the U.S. and world, is expected to grow by 30 percent in the next five years.

“There’s no question that eSports is a burgeoning part of the sports world,” said John Affleck, the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and society and director of the Curley Center. “What’s important for us is that broadcasters are showing a definite interest in it. Helping our students get involved is one more way Penn State can stand out in the field of sports journalism.”

Sophomore broadcast journalism majors Ryan Berti and Bria Donnelly will work the webcast alongside eSports club members. Berti, from Erie, and Donnelly, from Farmington, Minnesota, work for ComRadio, the Internet-based station housed in the College of Communications. They learned about the eSports opportunity a couple of months ago.

““It’s just a really exciting opportunity,” Donnelly said. “There’s a big growth in eSports across the country and it’s another chance for me to learn and try something new. I’ve been lucky to already broadcast several sports at Penn State and this seemed like fun.”

While Donnelly has played “League of Legends” before, Berti has not. He’s familiar with the game, though, and has been preparing for the webcast since he volunteered for the assignment.

“It’s a chance to take on a new challenge,” he said. “It sounded interesting when we first heard about it and getting ready for it has only made it more interesting. We’re going to do our best to give it a feel of the big-league events.”

Last Updated April 07, 2016