The Final Countdown

Authored By:

Jennie Gold


Session 1 of Gaming & Esports Culture here in Seoul, South Korea is coming quickly to a close. This session has focused not only on Korean culture and experience, but was also centered a lot around the gaming and Esports culture that exists here and is popular worldwide. Our students have had incredible experiences and opportunities over the last two and a half weeks, learning from teachers at Gen.G Academy about a variety of topics, such as the basics of Esports, what it takes to run a tournament, and starting a team / franchising. They’ve also had time to interact with other Gen.G staff and spend time with some of the students who are currently studying at the academy. 

For today’s post, I want to focus on one of the most unique experiences our students have had during this program: hosting an Esports tournament. Students learned about the different potential roles they could work for the tournament, learned more about their roles from the Gen.G staff, and practiced their roles prior to the day of the tournament.



Marcos, one of our students who worked as a PD (producer / director) on the day of the tournament, gave his thoughts on the entire experience.

“As participants in CIEE’s esports program, we got to host and produce an Overwatch tournament for young players in the Gen.G Academy. The Gen.G Academy is a way for young aspiring players to get a taste of professional play. This made hosting the tournament in the official stadium a great way to give the players a taste of the heights they’re trying to reach. After we hosted the tournament, we had the opportunity to attend a watch party for an Overwatch World Cup match between the Philippines and South Korea. After learning about what it took to run these tournaments, I was able to gain a newfound appreciation for these events. In addition, it felt a bit surreal to see an official World Cup match using the same graphics we had used a day before.”


Kevin, another of our students who worked as a referee on the day of the tournament, gave his thoughts on the entire experience.

“Running an Esports tournament was stressful and nerve-racking, but, interestingly enough, it was one of my favorite experiences during my time here. Despite how anxious I felt about having to be a referee and talk to the players, especially with me not knowing how to speak Korean, I had fun being an important part of the tournament, and found myself becoming increasingly comfortable with being uncomfortable. I feel like our competition ran smoothly but, but when you’re working as a ref, you can’t really watch. So I couldn’t see exactly what all of our efforts went to. When I got the chance to watch a professional Overwatch tournament, it made me even more please with myself and my program member’s work. I felt pride in knowing we ran something similar to that. It was a great experience overall and it really opened my eyes to things behind the scenes that I had never considered, and gives me a new understanding of something I had previously encountered.”


We are so thankful for Gen.G Academy who has made these opportunities possible and available to our students! Our students are getting a firsthand look at the Esports industry and all of the various jobs and avenues available. The industry is much more than just those who play the game - there are a lot of moving parts and other important people necessary to making a team or an event a success.