September 2, 2022

Faculty Spotlight: Tisch Sports Clinical Assistant Professor Jason Chung

The rapid expansion of esports—organized, multiplayer video game competitions—is an area of profound interest for Jason Chung, a clinical assistant professor at the NYU SPS Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport who spearheads the School’s academic program in esports and gaming as director of the esports and gaming initiative. After serving as a visiting professor at Tisch in 2019, he returned to NYU SPS in August 2022. In between, he led the University of New Haven’s esports and gaming curricula, building the first master’s program in the esports business in North America.

A lawyer with common and civil law degrees from the McGill University Faculty of Law, Chung also leads the Esports Practice Group at the law firm Zuber Lawler LLP, focusing on transactions and regulatory matters relating to esports, virtual reality, AI, and data privacy.

Chung often writes and speaks about the intersection of esports, technology, and health, including esports governance, data privacy, and AI regulation. His interdisciplinary approach to understanding esports stems from his diverse international background in law, business, and public policy. He is the co-host of a new videocast, What the Meta!, and is currently working on several writing projects looking at the future of entertainment and technology.

Tell us about esports’ role in the sports arena and the larger culture.
Video gaming is the world’s largest entertainment sector, with nearly 3.2 billion gamers and projected revenues of nearly $200 billion worldwide. Esports represents a frontier for fresh growth in the sports arena with hopes that digital natives, and the sponsors and advertisers who cater to them, will continue to flock to competitive matches of titles such as League of Legends, Valorant, and Fortnite. With younger audiences gravitating to competition in all forms, physical as well as digital, esports may well represent the future of broadcast sporting competition. For our students, the more they understand the ecosystem sustaining this culture, the more prepared they’ll be to navigate this space—for their employers or their own endeavors.

How does esports figure into our curriculum?
The esports and gaming initiative at NYU SPS will give our students a holistic examination of the ecosystem from a business perspective with the cutting-edge curricula, industry engagement, and experiences necessary to truly engage with the subject matter. We are in discussions with major endemic and non-endemic brands about bringing in industry leaders for project-based courses. The goal is to foster leaders who can thoughtfully shape the future of esports and gaming from various entry points—from publishers to esports organizations to major sponsors—and to be the collaborative hub of applied business education with regards to the gaming industry.

What are some of the technologies used in this arena?
Another truly rewarding part of esports and gaming is its necessary nexus with technology. As a tech enthusiast, I’m into contemporary gaming platforms and am deeply excited about the evolution of platforms that include AR/VR and the metaverse. I’m fascinated by the question of how constructs such as the metaverse will manifest themselves—unlike the world wide web, will someone like Mark Zuckerberg actually create and own the “metaverse” as we know it? I am also curious about how different business aspects of games, such as monetization, social engagement, and sponsorships, will work within such new virtual worlds. I’m working with colleagues across NYU and industry to tackle such big questions in esports, gaming, media, and technology.

What does the future of esports look like?
We’re here to help develop future leaders who will mature the esports and gaming ecosystem and marketplace. The future of esports is bright, but to reach its full potential as a major mainstream spectator sport, there will be many challenges to overcome in domains such as global governance, media rights, league-athlete relations, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. We intend to be there, providing the industry with the knowledge and talent necessary to tackle such challenges head on.

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