Providence Author Releases Book on Esports, the Competitive Video Game Play Taking Over the Entertainment Industry

William Collis sheds light on the past, present, and future of this virtual phenomenon that's attracting celebrity investors, college scholarships, and might even make it to the Olympic stage

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Providence resident, college professor, Harvard MBA, and serial startup founder William Collis charts the global phenomenon of esports – live video game competitions –  in his intriguing and accessible guidebook “The Book of Esports: The Definitive Guide to Competitive Video Games,” which debuts today. 

The modern esports industry is rapidly growing. In 2020, it will generate $1.1 billion in revenue from sponsorships, professional tournaments, broadcast, streaming platforms, advertising, ticket sales, and partnerships with outside investors like Shaquille O’Neil, Jennifer Lopez, and Robert Kraft. International viewership will reach 495 million people, with more United States viewers than the NHL. Local school leagues will spring up. More than 150 college programs will offer scholarships for talented gamers. New superstars like Fortnight player Tyler “Ninja” Blevins will emerge. By the end of the decade, esports competitors may even appear on the Olympic stage.

The future is bright for esports, but how did this come to be? When did esports become one of the largest entertainment and competition phenomena in human history? Collis, a senior advisor to the esports business major at Becker College, offers an overview for curious parents, student gamers, and business-minded individuals. He hearkens back to retro-arcade culture, follows the advent of streaming technology, speaks with professional gamers and industry luminaries, and tells personal anecdotes, combining analytics with friendly prose, to illuminate the future of this movement.