Looking Ahead to a Big Year in Esports at Syracuse and Beyond 

Syracuse University launches its new esports communications and management program in 2024. This first-of-its kind offering at a major university is a partnership between the Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.

Joey Gawrysiak

As we get ready for a big year for esports at Syracuse, program director Joey Gawrysiak looks ahead at three trends for the industry in 2024 – and beyond.  

“We are going to build on the strong foundation of academic excellence at Syracuse while making sure our esports students achieve competitive success and learn the skills needed for a rewarding career in a thriving field,” Gawrysiak said. 

“There is so much potential here – it’s an exciting time to be involved in esports,” he added.  

The Big Business of Esports 

According to Yahoo Finance, the esports industry was valued at $1.39 billion in 2022, and the value is expected to grow by roughly 16% each year through 2030. Increasing accessibility and inclusivity in esports, especially in mobile and PC gaming, will account for a large portion of this growth, especially with the development of 5G connectivity. 

Opportunities Abound  

Collegiate esports are growing in terms of number of programs and the size of programs at each school. A record 82% of colleges or universities with esports programs reported an increase in the size of their program in 2022, according to a study by Esports Foundry. As these programs grow and new programs start at institutions around North America, student engagement opportunities and job openings should expand, too. 

Establishing a Foothold 

More than half of all college programs have been around three years or more, a sign that the scholastic esports ecosystem is rapidly maturing and becoming more sustainable, according to Esports Foundry. This shows recognition by administrators and educators who are investing in esports programs as destinations for students interested in career opportunities.  

Gawrysiak arrived from Shenandoah University, where he developed one of the first esports degrees in the country, to establish the new program at Syracuse. Falk boasts thriving sport management and sport analytics programs, along with scholarship in public health, social justice and equity.  

Newhouse has been a leader in the space as one of the first schools in the country to offer courses in esports and communications.  

“I’m looking forward to what’s in store at Syracuse and having the chance to work with students thinking about a career in esports,” Gawrysiak said. “We’re going to create a dynamic, inclusive environment and strong sense of community in our program.”