SUNY Canton student opens nonprofit esports organization at St. Lawrence Center mall | Business

MASSENA – One of the new tenants of the St. Lawrence Center mall is not a business, but a non-profit part of the esports world.

Bryan Thompson, an undergraduate studying for a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in esports management at SUNY Canton, is the founder and CEO of Ethical Esports Ltd., located next to the Maurice clothing store.

Mr Thompson said that during his studies he discovered the world of esports had “ethical flaws”.

“My first semester in college, we learned about the ethical issues of esports,” he said. “So when we started to study that, I started to see the big issues in the industry that I was getting into because I was studying esports management. I didn’t want to get out of college with these issues still present, so I started this as a nonprofit, where we start to advocate and raise awareness of ethical issues.

He said ethical issues include discrimination, cheating, hacking, people using racial or sexist slurs, and people “not being very inclusive of everyone in general”.

“Right now it’s a male-dominated field – about 92%. And about 90% of those men are Caucasian. So we get to the problem where there’s not enough diversity and it doesn’t seem not really inclusive,” said Mr. Thompson, a graduate of Potsdam Central School. “That’s why we want to get into the conversation. Why do they feel like they can’t (get involved)? is there an intimidating factor? Is there a part where they don’t need it or what’s going on there?” he said.

Mr. Thompson has been playing since he was around 4 years old.

“I played on the original PlayStation. I played the first original Call of Duty. It got me into first-person shooters and then from there I competed a little at the amateur level. I competed for SUNY Canton my first semester,” he said.

Ethical Esports has been open for about three weeks now. It is open from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday and from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday.

It was an idea Mr. Thompson had considered for three months before moving.

“I was working with another esports organization before that. I liked the idea of ​​being able to work and go to school at the same time,” he said.

St. Lawrence County has some tradition of promoting collegiate esports. SUNY Canton pioneered the college game, and SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University both have club teams. Esports completed its second season this year as a varsity sport at St. Lawrence University.

According to an annual report on the global esports market published in April by Newzoo, a market analysis company, esports revenue and popularity continue to rise. The global esports audience is expected to grow by 8.6% this year to 532 million people. Esports enthusiasts, who watch esports more than once a month, according to the report, will account for around 261 million of those people.

Esports will generate nearly $1.38 billion in revenue worldwide by the end of the year, according to the report.

Now that it’s open, Mr. Thompson is focusing on advising visitors and helping with resume writing.

“I also want to help them build their portfolio so they can more easily get into esports careers. I myself have a bit of a hard time building a CV and portfolio. 000 videos on YouTube. They’re all generally doing well. I’ve been streaming on Twitch for about two years. I have a small following and I’ve made quite a bit of money from it,” he said. declared.

He also plans to help people explore education options.

“The people I worked with at SUNY Canton also want to start a high school esports program. Now would be the perfect time to do so. We’re actually planning to build a computer lab here with about 30 gaming computers, which could easily accommodate them and could be used for an after-school program,” Thompson said.

He says he has seen interest since opening its doors. Computers are working and players are connecting. Since it is a non-profit organization, Mr. Thompson has items available for donation.

“It’s all about donations. Completely charitable. It’s for the kids. All of this is also free. We’ve already sold out here, 15 people,” he said.

He hopes to get additional financial support from businesses in the region.

“The advantage is that because we’re a nonprofit, they’ll get a tax deduction if they give us a certain percentage,” he said.

Some of these funds have created the free access gaming lounge at the mall, allowing individuals to practice or enjoy the experience of esports and games.

“We make them sign a liability waiver. Parents must be present when they sign the waiver. But, once they sign the waiver, they can drop off their kids,” Mr Thompson said.

Organizing community events is one of its goals, educating people about the economic benefits of esports, the types and severity of ethical issues that need to be addressed in the esports/gaming industry, and the future of esports.

“What we want to do here is that when we build a computer lab, we’re going to pay for the premium speeds, just like I did. And then we’re also going to run it through a dedicated server, which would deploy programs and eliminate the wear and tear of hardware that deploys to be able to run smoother and faster high frame rates,” said Thompson.

“Other future events that we might want to do is I want to bring my computer (information technology) guy here and do a little computer building workshop. If we can educate as much as possible, I feel like a lot of people will get on board. That’s a big part of it. That’s what New York State loved about our idea was to educate people about the technologies of the future and esports could become even more important than traditional sports in the future,” a- he declared.

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