Interview with BTU Alumnus Christian Städter (Business Administration)

"I've been working in gaming and esports for over 12 years now and have been lucky enough to work at national and international events."

Christian Städter studied Business Administration at BTU, has been working in gaming for over 10 years, especially in esports, and also conducts research in the field of gaming at BTU in the chair of ABWL, in particular Organization and Business Management. He has also set up a website and a newsletter where he reports on gaming from a scientific perspective on topics such as performance, health, addiction, industry insights and more.

Hello Mr. Städter, how did you come to study business administration at BTU and what was your experience here?
Hello, Mr. Ebert. After leaving school, I knew that I didn't want to do an apprenticeship. The only alternative was to study, and I never saw going to school as a negative thing. The decision was also influenced by my brother - whom I see as a role model - who studied Physics at BTU and then went on to do a doctorate. His positive comments and the local proximity were ultimately the deciding factors for me to start my studies at BTU. Alongside Computer Science, Business Administration was one of the two study programmes I saw myself in at the time. In the end, business studies won out. As I was part of the last strong cohort, my business studies took place at a time when we were sitting in a lecture theatre with 400 other students. During my foundation course, I particularly liked the fact that the examination regulations meant we had to go through all areas of business studies. In later semesters, I was also able to get to know the other side. Particularly in the Master's degree course, I found the freedom to choose specializations and the wide range of courses on offer to be a great advantage. In addition, the small group sizes left more room for discussion and individual supervision.

You are currently working at BTU and are aiming for doctoral studies. Can you please tell us something about how that came about, how you went about it and what your research topic is?
I am also pleased to be able to name my brother as a role model here. I also wanted to combine my hobby and my part-time work as a freelancer in esports, i.e. competitive video game playing, with my interest in science and the desire to do doctoral studies. At the beginning, there is always the question: what topic exactly do I want to focus on? It quickly became clear to me that I wanted to continue researching the core aspect - performance - in esports. Based on this, the working title of my doctoral studies was "Individual and Team performance in Esports". In essence, I am looking at which direct and indirect factors such as team communication, health or training influence the performance of individual players and teams in order to improve them. This idea, and the work I have done so far, has also given rise to my weekly newsletter, which deals with precisely these topics. It is important to me in both areas - the doctoral studies and the newsletter - that all types of players are included, from recreational players who play alone or with friends to professional athletes who play for a living.

You look at gaming from very different perspectives in your research and in your newsletter. What topics exactly are discussed and from which perspectives?
That's a very good question. Basically, the newsletter is of interest to anyone with an interest in gaming. The focus is primarily on important, exciting or sometimes funny studies and research results. The aim is always to use scientifically sound results to improve the lives of readers in relation to gaming. What factors influence in-game performance? How can I (the recreational player) get better at the game to finally reach a higher rank? What makes professional gamers so good at gaming? What are the advantages and disadvantages of gaming? How does gaming affect my health, i.e. sleep, diet, addiction and so on? How can I maximize my gaming fun? We get to the bottom of these and other questions in the newsletter. Guest episodes are another important part of the newsletter. In these, experts, i.e. industry insiders, such as professional gamers, commentators and game developers, shed light on the gaming industry from their own personal, practical perspective. They report on their career paths, current problems and trends, as well as their experiences and much more. I am convinced that this combination of scientific facts and recommendations for the everyday gamer, as well as practical expert knowledge, is exciting for every interested gamer and provides great added value.

For many, it sounds like a dream to be able to deal with gaming professionally. You have already gained a lot of practical experience in this field in the esports and event sector and with companies. What are your experiences and what would you recommend to students who are also interested in the subject academically and professionally?
That's a good and important question you ask. I've been working in gaming and esports for over 12 years now and have been lucky enough to work at national and international events. Especially for companies like ESL and DreamHack (now EFG), Blizzard Entertainment, BLAST, TaKeTV and others, I regularly travel to the USA, Canada, Sweden, Spain, Germany and so on. Over the years, I've been able to work on various esports titles such as Counter-Strike, Overwatch, StarCraft II and more. I currently have 70 events on my watch, and 3 more - including the Esports World Cup in Saudi Arabia, with prize money of over 60 million US dollars - are planned. My experiences have been almost exclusively positive. If you like to travel a lot, meet new people, work at events or on media content and are passionate about the subject, the path in gaming can be interesting for you. However, you should also bear the disadvantages in mind. The days are often very long, 12 to 16 hours on event days are normal, and the "magic" that you have as a spectator live or in front of the screen disappears at some point. You should think carefully about whether you want to look behind the curtain, because in the end it's work. I think it's important to keep both sides in mind and not just let the "magic" illude you. From a scientific point of view, research is still in its infancy. It is only in the last 10 years that more attention has been paid to this area, so both the field and the researchers are relatively young. Most of them are also former gamers who spent a lot of time in front of the PC or console in their youth. The research community is therefore full of people who share a passion for video games. If you have ambitions to go into research - and gaming in particular - and have a gaming background yourself, you will feel very much at home there. However, it should not be forgotten that research is anything but easy. It takes a lot of commitment, willpower and perseverance. In addition, the "market situation" and the chances of getting a professorship are currently very poor, and only the best of the best have any chance at all. Nevertheless, I think that the topic has reached the center of society and that in a few years there will be more opportunities for researchers to live out their passion for gaming and science. We have seen that there is more and more funding of all kinds from both private and public sources.

And one more question for anyone who has absolutely no idea about esports. How can we imagine the events in this area and where is the best place to start and go regionally?
Esports, i.e. electronic sport, which refers to competitive gaming, can best be compared to soccer from the audience's point of view. As a fan of a player, team or game title, you can tune in online or go to the stadium. One of the events in Germany is ESL Cologne. The best Counter-Strike teams meet there once a year. I myself attended the event in 2022 as a researcher and was impressed by the experience. From my experience, a definite recommendation. For those who want to get active themselves, there are now many regional and national leagues in which you can participate, such as the Uni League. Anyone can take part in this league, individually or as a team, and compete against other university teams at national level if necessary. If that's not enough, you can take part in online cups organized by various providers such as the ESL. If you want to network locally, I have two more tips for you. Firstly, since 2017 there has been an esports organization at the BTU called CBES, which is part of the German umbrella organization. Secondly, there is an internal BTU Discord server where students from the university can meet, chat and exchange information, for example about tournaments or simply meet up to play.

At this point, all that remains for me to say is: thank you very much for your interest in the topic and the exciting questions, as well as the opportunity to introduce myself, my research and my newsletter. I would also like to thank the BTU and the chair and its management. All three are important pillars that support me not only during my studies, but also now during my doctoral studies. If you would like to find out more about me, my research and my newsletter, please visit my X (Twitter) channel or my website

Contact us

Daniel Ebert
Friend- and Fundraising; Alumni
T +49 (0) 355 69-2420