In Stockton, the “Innovation Center” will be opened from the 1 billion dollar industry | So Good News


ATLANTIC CITY – A new operation along the boardwalk at Stockton University is aiming to help pave the way for the city and state to become leaders in the competitive video game industry.

The Esports Innovation Center opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in October as experts tracking the growing industry look to increase New Jersey’s share of the billion-dollar pie.

Central Stockton took over part of the housing estate. The nonprofit operation was created in partnership with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. The memorandum of understanding on the establishment of the center was signed in June 2021.

A big part of the center’s mission is to get casinos more involved in esports, according to executive director Andrew Weilgus.

“We want to help the casino identify and create a strategy where they can take advantage of the growing esports boom with events in Atlantic City as well as potential betting opportunities,” Weilgus said.

Earlier this year, the state of New Jersey gave the green light to betting on eSports events.

The center also focuses on workforce innovation and engagement at the community level. Weilgus said that by working with local partners, they can ensure that the skills needed to succeed in the esports ecosystem are available to kids in Atlantic City and the surrounding areas.

“Most importantly, it gives them transferable and easily employable skills,” Weilgus said.

In recent years, the eSports industry has developed rapidly. Stockton’s esports team has grown from just 12 students in 2019 to 800 today. This year, the team took second place in the world in the esports competition.

This autumn, Galloway-based Stockton launched a course in esports and event planning. The university is in the process of creating a bachelor’s degree in esports management.

In 2022, eSports is projected to generate $1.38 billion in revenue worldwide.

“There’s a lot of opportunity for competitive gaming, and we get a lot of students who aren’t die-hard video gamers, but fit into the lifestyle they live and they want to participate,” said Scott Houston, chief information officer. for Stockton. “For us, it’s another opportunity for students to adjust to university.”

Part of the center’s goal is to attract esports companies to set up shop and build games in Atlantic City.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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