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The Nexus of Esports, Sports, Technology, Communities and Hope

The Nexus of Esports, Sports, Technology, Communities and Hope
AI for Good - ITU - Esports Nexus

On September 3rd, 2020, the AI for Good Global Summit held a webinar and discussed how ITU and the Global Esports Federation can use esports and emerging technologies to scale AI for Good.

The webinar was moderated by world-renowned presenter LJ Rich, who is part of Click, the BBC’s flagship technology show. The panelist of this webinar included Anne Kelly Aikman, senior advisor of the Global Esports Federation, Miguel Gil, founder of the United States Esports Association, William Louis-Marie, Chief Executive Officer of the World Squash Federation,

Xuan Ming, Chief Executive Officer of IGNITX, and Iñigo Bonilla Barroso, Director of the Strategic Alliances & Business Development.

As always, the goal of the AI for Good Global Summit is to identify practical applications of AI to advance the sustainable development goals and scale those solutions for global impact. This webinar was part three of the global dialogue on esports organized in partnership with the global esports federation. The goal of the webinar is to continue the dialogue about esports and the esports ecosystem. Even though there may not be any answers to some of the world issues, there is power in having an open dialogue about it and trying to solve those problems. The webinar contained three different sections that the panelist planned to speak on. The first section is discussing the new conversations about esports. The second section is about where can positive opportunities be created using esports and technology. The third section is talking about how can esports and traditional sports become a hybrid. Additionally, an overarching topic of discussion is finding sustainable and meaningful ways to make the world better, not just for esports, but beyond.

Aikman began the first section, discussing new conversations about esports, by mentioning that one of the missions of the global esports federation is to be at the service of the industry. One example of this is elevating the credibility of esports and infrastructure for esports to develop. Gil spoke about the exchange of value, stating even though esports may be a new industry, the people involved have been working for a long time and are experts in the area, same as traditional sports. Gil also went on to say the tools that are used in gaming and esports should be more available for everybody, both sides of the world together, that being esports and traditional sports. Louis-Marie, coming from a traditional sport like squash and joining the esports world to build bridges, added, understanding the momentum that esports is gaining on their own can the market of traditional sports. The section was concluded by Louis-Marie stating the benefits and values of traditional sports are known but the benefit and values of esports are not as well-known and once we better understand them, then a common future can be built.

The next section started with Aikman explaining how cities in China are experimenting with supporting specific teams or particular esports competitions. According to Aikman, Shanghai is where a good deal of the esports technology are being developed and training center for esports players have started in the southern part of China. One recent example of building the bridge between esports and traditional sports is in China in 2017 with the use of traditional stadiums for the League of Legends World Championships that took place inside the “Bird’s Nest”, which was built for the 2008 Olympics. Gil proceeded to mention, in order to grow the industry and develop the pipeline for the next generation, knowledge of the player development perspective in traditional sports has to be incorporated into esports. One example of where AI can help is the training and/or performance tools utilized in esports and translating them to help train traditional sports players.

The third and final section explored how there is still some gaps of understanding the good areas of esports and how it can be leveraged for the better. Barroso prompted the question of how members in the esports world accelerate and transfer knowledge to companies and sponsors so therefore they can transfer that knowledge to the world as a whole. One thing that could be fixed or solved is getting these companies or sponsors or general public a better understanding about esports and the gaming world. According to Gil, the most important thing to do is sharing knowledge. The webinar was complete by Aikman stating the purpose of why the Global Esports Federation was set up as a value-based organization is to create a federation that brings everybody in the ecosystem together and promote the values of sports.

To review and learn more about the AI for Good Global dialogue on esports, visit our previous blog HERE !

The McClure School of Emerging Communication Technologies strives to offer the best academic programs in the IT (Information Technology), the game development and the Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality (VR/AR) industries. Our programs and certificates cover numerous aspects of the rapidly changing industries of information networking, information security, data privacy, game development, digital animation and the academic side of esports.