Gael Gaming Hosts Professional ESports Panel Discussion

ESports panel discussion hosted by Gael Gaming Club.Gael Gaming has long been excited to host the panel discussion ESports: Beyond School and Screen on May 9 in Hagerty Lounge. Though we are generally seen as a recreational club, one of our long-term goals is to promote gaming in a professional sense while exposing Saint Mary’s College students to the wider world of eSports and the video game industry.  

Gaming has gone beyond being a simple hobby and has become a multibillion-dollar, exponentially growing industry. This year, eSports are expected to hit a revenue of over $1 billion, with a total worth of more than $130 billion. Video game tournaments, especially eSports tournaments, have worldwide viewership surpassing most professional traditional sports. Intercollegiate conferences have emerged, and several major institutions are heavily investing in eSports programming. SMC’s own League of Legends team regularly competes against other colleges and universities in the Bay Area. Not everyone can be a competitor, however, nor does everyone want to be. There are positions in eSports for content creation, software development, operations, customer service, production, marketing, business, and more.  

With this in mind, Gael Gaming invited a group of immensely talented eSports players and professionals. Kevin “Schamtoo” Pearson is a former semi-pro StarCraft2 and Heroes of the Storm player/commentator, and currently a tournament organizer and commentator for StarCraft: Remastered. Carlo Beckman ’05, MA ’10 is an SMC alum with over 19 years of experience in customer support/success in companies, including Cryptic Studios (bought by Atari), Linden Lab (creator of Second Life), and Wargaming America (World of Tanks/Planes/Warship), which set up one of the first eSports leagues in North America. Ravi “Feardragon” Pareek started his career at Purdue University in 2011, where he was a caster and commentator for its star league team, and since then has commentated several StarCraft 2 expansions, leagues, and tournaments.

Throughout the evening, the panel members discussed their experiences in balancing school/work with pro-gaming or content creating and taking that first step into working in the gaming industry. We also talked about the importance of getting involved with local tournaments and streaming channels to build the experience, dedication, and professional connections vital for a career in gaming. At the end of the night, Gael Gaming raffled off two gaming headsets to attendees and held a casual meet-and-greet with our speakers at the 1928 pub.

Gael Gaming would like to thank its partners, Student Involvement & Leadership, Kinesiology, and the Career Center, for their help in sponsoring this event. We’d also like to thank the Office of College Communications for taking pictures of this event and its support as well.