eSports 101: The Business of Competitive Gaming

by Michael Migliacio | at MinneBar 10 | 3:45 – 4:35 in Stephen Leacock | View Schedule

What started out as a few dedicated players battling each other in local LAN tournaments has sprouted into a multimillion-dollar international competitive gaming industry, drawing sponsorships from major companies like Coca-Cola, Monster Energy, and American Express.

Major competitive events featuring popular games like League of Legends, Ultra Street Fighter IV, and Dota2 draw viewerships in the hundreds of thousands, and player counts in the millions worldwide. Brand new companies at the tip of the spear of this brand new business are focusing on cultivating the eSports fanbase and connecting gamers around the world with their favorite professional players and brands.

What makes competitive gaming so special? Why is it taking off now? Where is it going in the future? How is big business getting involved?

Join software developer and professional eSports journalist Michael Migliacio to discover the answers to these questions and much, much more.


Michael Migliacio

Michael "Miggs" Migliacio is a Software Engineering Coach in the Target Dojo with over 15 years of experience in software development. Previously, he held engineering roles at IBM, IGN Entertainment, and Best Buy, where he led the team responsible for building the API that powers shipping and delivery for one of the largest eCommerce platforms in the world. He is also JLPT-certified and serves as a Japanese-to-English interpreter for the Bloomington-Izumi Sister City Organization. Outside of Target, Michael co-founded video game development studio Intropy Games and worked closely with Japanese publisher CrossFunction in order to launch a localized title on Nintendo consoles in Japan.

He earned a Bachelor's in Computer Science with a minor in Japanese from Purdue University and is currently pursuing a Master's in Computer Science from Georgia Tech.

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