As part of this year’s celebration of Black artistry, culture, and hip-hop, two cultural leaders considered the future of eSports
What is the Revolt Summit?
The Revolt Summit is an annual event hosted by Revolt TV and created by Sean Combs (Puff Daddy/P Diddy/Diddy etc), that celebrates the world of Black artistry, culture, and hip-hop through a lens of empowerment.
This year it took place in Atlanta on September 24th and 25th. The theme was “The Future Is Now” and featured interactive keynote speeches, live music performances, panel conversations, and town hall discussions with an all-star lineup of some of the biggest names in music and entertainment.
The purpose of the event is to offer young people an immersive opportunity to learn and network, to develop the vital skills required to survive and thrive in their chosen careers in the entertainment, gaming, music, and technology industries. Attendees can engage with content creators, power players, and star makers while experiencing performances from local talent, major artists, and new emerging artists.
eSports at the Revolt Summit
Thanks to the unrivaled success of titles like NBA 2K League and The Overwatch League, eSports have exploded in popularity. While gaming has always had its advocates, it’s only since some bright sparks saw the potential career and income stream opportunities that it blew up in the mainstream culture.
Erin Ashley Simon spoke at “The Future of Gaming” panel. Erin is the co-owner of XSET, an American professional eSports and entertainment organization based in Boston. XSET describes itself as “the fastest-growing and most diverse gaming and lifestyle organization in the world”.
Joining Erin was Christina Granville, also known as Ms. Basketball: an actress, athlete, host, marketing specialist, and model from Florida. The two ladies talked about the future of eSports through the lens of Black women, a demographic they feel is often overlooked in the industry.
The Future of eSports for Black women
The panel was the launch of a partnership between McDonalds and Morris Brown College in Atlanta, created to enable a future for the next generation of designers, entrepreneurs and gamers. The ladies spoke about what steps could be taken to ensure that gamers are able to capitalize on their skills as gaming continues to grow.
McDonalds have also helped launch Morris Brown’s eSports lab, home of a degree program for students to get into competitive eSports and digital entertainment.
The goal of the initiative is to show the college gamers that gamifying their space is not just about cool design, comfy seating and LED lights – it’s about about promoting inclusivity and unity, making the gaming industry a better place for all.
The business of gaming
What used to be looked down on as a hobby for kids and stoners, has now evolved to a very serious business and lifestyle. Our culture is saturated in gaming, and depends on the energy and drive of the youth, as well as access, diversity and inclusion to not just survive, but thrive.
Commenting on the influence of celebrities on the gaming space, Erin spoke of the positives:
“We have everyone from Clinton Sparks, who was part of it. Our executives founded Karmaloop and have been very successful in this space. We work with Ozuna, Swae Lee, Ezekiel Elliott, and a bunch of others in the gaming space and, you know, we’re starting to see a lot more opportunities when it comes to this cross-culture thing,”
Erin told the audience of how her diverse background helped her progress smoothly into gaming:
“Now, I work with Xbox. I co-host ‘NFL Tuesday Night Gaming’ every Tuesday. So, it’s just crazy to see how, you know, having a sports background can work in the gaming space, having a media background, entertainment background… it does work, and one of the things that I pride myself in is showing that intersection of culture and gaming because gaming is a lifestyle.”
eSports at Morris Brown College
Thanks to this recent collaboration, six students of the college will work with interior designer Davon Johnson of Atlanta, to improve the eSports lab’s look and equipment.
Gamers will be free to enjoy the upgraded space, while learning about future gaming tech and it’s part in the growing eSports industry.