Georgia colleges just got an official esports league

College students at the Skillshot esports analyst desk comment on the Georgia Esports League competition between rivals Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia in the game Rocket League.
Courtesy of Skillshot Media

It’s no secret that Georgia is a cultural hotspot. However, the state is now taking it a step further by launching a statewide initiative that combines esports competition, curriculum and workforce development to help college students find employment in the gaming, esports, and digital entertainment industries.

On Aug. 23, Skillshot Media and Ghost Gaming announced a partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Film Academy, and founding partner universities across Georgia to launch the Georgia Esports League — the nation’s first.

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The GEL, open to all 2-year and 4-year colleges in Georgia, aims to grow esports at the collegiate level while providing students with valuable skills like teamwork, leadership, communication and problem solving that can be applied in any industry.

“Esports is education,” Todd Harris, CEO of Skillshot Media and Ghost Gaming, said in a news release. “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.”

Esports events held in Georgia have increased in popularity, and we’re thrilled to see this growth.

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The Collegiate Esports Commissioner’s Cup was held in May at the Gateway Arena in College Park. Riot Games’ League of Legends World Championship 2022 semifinals will take place in October at State Farm Arena. In addition, the global gaming festival Dreamhack will return to the Georgia World Congress Center in November, with over 40,000 people expected to attend.