Skillz Blog

Skillz Director of Server Engineering Mike Yorg Talks eSports and Gaming Ethics at Cal Poly!


Skillzian Mike Yorg on mobile eSports

Here at Skillz, we’re not only pioneering the mobile eSports industry through our innovative competitive multiplayer platform. We’re actively mentoring and advising young future generations by raising awareness of the growing industry, generating interest, and developing new talent.

Recently, Skillz Director of Server Engineering Mike Yorg made his way back to his alma mater California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo to offer his eSports knowledge to the school’s Game Development Club and the students in its “Ethics in Computing” course.

Here are a few of the topics that Mike discussed:

  • The rise of eSports: It takes 50 years for a game to become a sport. Major sports like football, soccer, and basketball all followed the same trajectory. eSports are no different. After video games first became popularized with “Pong” and the first “Spacewar” competition in the 1970s, eSports have gradually developed to achieve global popularity and massive spectatorship.

  • The perception vs. reality of eSports: There’s a widespread misconception that eSports are only for professional, male PC gamers. However, women are expected to account for half of eSports viewer growth over the next 12 months AND they identify as being involved in eSports more than their male counterparts. Only 35% of eSports fans are PC gamers, compared to the 65% that are mobile gamers. We’ve also seen this firsthand. Over half of the 12 million+ Skillz users are casual gamers who play for the competitive thrill – not because they’re aspiring professionals.

  • Fair playing fields: It’s important in eSports to remove any elements of chance from the game, to ensure the players are only winning based on their skills and strategy alone. In head-to-head competitions, players must also be matched based on their abilities to ensure that no player has an unfair advantage.

At the end of his chat with the Game Development Club, Mike even helped the soon-to-be developers integrate Skillz into a Unity game to create a fully-functioning Skillz-powered mobile eSport.

“It was exciting to speak to students who represent the next generation of game developers. The best part was seeing them really grasp how eSports are changing the future of mobile gaming, and how they themselves could take advantage of this disruptive, fast-growth industry,” said Mike.

As the eSports industry continues to thrive – total revenues are expected to hit $5 billion by 2020 – we hope to continue stirring interest among young adults in the potential of eSports and mobile gaming. Thanks to the help of industry experts like Mike, eSports are gaining the mainstream recognition that they deserve!

Want to learn more? Check out this comprehensive, free-to-download eBook about the basics of eSports. If you want to find out how Skillz specifically handles the ethical considerations of mobile eSports, visit this page on our website.