Irvine, Calif., Oct. 11, 2023 — Gamers, scholars and industry professionals will converge online this month for the first UC Esports Initiative Symposium, a free, three-hour conference addressing key aspects of the growing world of competitive gaming.

In two panel discussions, experts will tackle the business side of esports and the physical and mental well-being of players.

Kicking off at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, the symposium is open to the public and will also include opportunities to network.

“By exploring these vital topics, we aim to promote the continued growth and sustainable development of the esports ecosystem,” said event organizer Mark Deppe, director of esports at the University of California, Irvine.

Sponsored by the UC Esports Initiative, the conference is expected to take place annually.

“The UC Esports Initiative Symposium is essential for sharing knowledge as well as setting the table for future scholarship in this understudied area,” said Dr. Bowen Chung, professor at UCLA who will lead the panel discussion on “Health and Wellness in Esports.”

The conference will be livestreamed at For more details on speakers, topics and scheduling, visit

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