Skip To Top NavigationSkip To ContentSkip To Section NavigationSkip To Footer
Bulldog News

SC State launches competitive esports partnership with alumnus-led company

Author: Sam Watson, Director of University Relations|Published: April 09, 2024|All News, Student News

Blaze Fire Games Esports Bus

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – South Carolina State University on Tuesday announced a partnership to begin a gaming club in the competitive world of esports.

SC State has signed an official memorandum of understanding to partner with Blaze Fire Games, an esports and digital content company co-founded by Dr. Isiah Reese, CEO, a member of the SC State Class of 1990.

In the U.S., hundreds of higher learning institutions have launched similar concentrated gaming and esports programs as an innovative way to help universities and colleges recruit and retain students.

“This generation of students has never known a world without electronic gaming,” SC State President Alexander Conyers said. “They’ve grown up with this technology, and many of them are highly skilled as a result.

“This competitive esports program will tap into that major area of interest and ability while opening doors in a growing and lucrative field,” Conyers said. “Anything we can do to harness our students’ interests and channel them into productive pursuits is well worth the effort.”

According to data provided by Reese, the multi-billion esports industry is one of the world's fastest-growing sports:

  • 1.31 billion people are expected to be gamers in the entire world with an anticipated 12% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% to 1.47 billion players by 2027.
  • 209.8 million Americans play video game in the U.S., accounting for 65% or around two-thirds of the population in the country.
  • 36% of gamers are 18-34 with 24% are under 18. Male account for 52% and females at 48%. 
  • The average gaming penetration among internet users worldwide is 81.9%. Eight out of 10 internet users play video games.

The new South Carolina State University Bulldog Esports Club will emphasize competition in student team play as an official student organization through the Division of Student Affairs.

“This partnership is a golden opportunity for SC State to expand our student organizations by drawing upon a growing trend among colleges and universities,” said Dr. Tamara Jeffries-Jackson, SC State vice president for student affairs. “Many of our students already are engaged in esports at the individual level, so developing a competitive club is a natural progression.

“We know we will have strong interest from the student body. It should be especially attractive to students in computer science, engineering and other technical areas of study. Sports management students also should find the club of interest, but the Bulldog Esports Club will be open to all students,” Jeffries Jackson said.

Reese said the partnership with his alma mater is important for his company because it precisely aligns with its “Recruit, Reclaim and Retain” mission.

“It is even more special to me as a loyal son being a proud graduate of the only public four-year HBCU accredited Advanced Collegiate School of Business (AACSB) in the state of South Carolina,” Reese said. “We at Blaze Fire Games look forward to working with the entire leadership team and the various career pathway departments across the campus.”

Blaze Fire Games and its partners in 30 states provide organized career pathway education and esports competition events to K-12 schools, colleges, universities and community-based service organizations.

For more information about Blaze Fire Games, visit or contact Reese at .