A new partnership across the state of Georgia will launch the Georgia Esports League (GEL), the nation’s first comprehensive statewide initiative covering esports competition, curriculum, and workforce development to serve the videogame, esports, and digital entertainment industry.
The partnership is between the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Film Academy, founding partner universities across Georgia, esports production company Skillshot Media, and Ghost Gaming, the Atlanta-based professional esports and lifestyle organization.
The move comes at a time of increasing live esports event activity across the state. In May Skillshot, EsportsU, and the Collegiate Sports Management Group (CSMG) produced the Collegiate Esports Commissioner’s Cup (CECC), the largest ever national collegiate esports live event, at Gateway Arena in College Park Georgia which delivered a $1.7 million local economic impact. This October Riot Games will bring the Worlds 2022 League of Legends semifinals to State Farm Arena, and in November the global gaming festival Dreamhack returns to the Georgia World Congress Center with an expected attendance of over 40,000.
The Georgia Esports League, open to all 2-year and 4-year colleges in Georgia, will offer numerous titles starting with Rocket League, which is played across Georgia in middle school, and high school as a sanctioned varsity sport. It is also played at the collegiate and professional level. Atlanta-based Ghost Gaming has a top professional Rocket League team.
The tournament platform provider and sponsor for the 2022-2023 season of Rocket League is UGC.
“Esports is education,” said Todd Harris CEO of Skillshot Media and Ghost Gaming. “We’re excited to build out skill development that goes well beyond just playing games. Our partnerships in Georgia allow us to engage with students starting in middle school with STEAM exposure and social-emotional learning all the way through college competition to careers playing esports professionally, becoming a gaming creator on YouTube or Twitch, or working in the broader game and digital entertainment industry behind the scenes as a programmer, artist or designer.”
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