It’s been a long time since the pinnacle of competitive gaming was LAN parties and small-time tournaments. eSports has become a legitimate industry, as players have the ability to earn millions and become global superstars. Despite the magnitude of gaming in 2019, many people deem that the tide is only rising. As a result, colleges around the world are looking to add eSports to their curriculum.
In Europe, the University of Staffordshire has become one of the first institutions to offer a legitimate degree in this niche. Many colleges, such as Ohio State and Virginia’s Shenandoah University have jumped on the bandwagon. However, this is just the beginning, as the legitimization of eSports as a career will have more apparent reverberations in the very near future.
Riding the Hype Wave
Even though eSports has been a prominent industry for some time now, a large number of people still think of it as a bubble that’s just waiting to burst. These claims were put to rest as many prominent companies and brands have expressed a desire to venture into the eSports world. Real Madrid announced that their new stadium, set to open in 2023, will contain indoor and outdoor facilities for gaming tournaments.
The National Basketball Association made an even bigger jump, as their NBA 2K League has added a Shanghai team before the upcoming regular season. Big brands were needed to show the world that eSports is more than just a bubble. As it turned into a lucrative business, we’ve reached yet another milestone – the opportunity to see eSports in schools. In late 2019, it’s more than just an experiment.
Future Stars Will Be Discovered More Easily
England’s University of Staffordshire has recently opened its state-of-the-art digital studio. With the place already jam-packed, it’s evident that there will be no problems with low interest whatsoever. They’re just one of many educational institutions to recently launch a dedicated eSports program for students who are interested in going pro one day. Indubitably, the benefits of this digital revolution are plentiful.
Experts say that we’re primed for an “explosion” in terms of player quality. Scouts, teams, and trainers will be able to recruit standouts more easily. All of this is because students won’t just rely on countless hours of grinding. Instead, they will have the foremost experts to teach them all about the ins and outs of the game they’ve chosen to play. Such a move is bound to maximize training efficiency and give children from low-income areas the opportunity to join the fold, as well.
It goes deeper than colleges, too. More than 150 schools in the U.S. have announced the addition of eSports-related programs, as well as new and improved varsity competitions. With dedicated classes, students will be able to focus on other subjects as well, instead of rushing home to game. Experts predict an overall rise in performance and grades on a country-wide level. As their obligations are more defined and clearly separated, children will learn how to draw the line between studying and free time.
More Than Just a Game
Matt Huxley, a lecturer at the University of Staffordshire recently pointed out that the magnitude of eSports transcends mere gaming. He stated that there is a place for everyone, as programs will educate students about the entire industry. Those interested will have the opportunity to become managers, agents and also earn a place in the front office of a professional team.
Even those without previous knowledge will get to explore their talents. Huxley, who teaches Event Planning and Strategy, also signified the importance of diversity. With digitalization in full swing, an eSports enthusiast can earn money and make a career without leaving his or her chair! Modules such as Building Teams, Content Creation and Casting epitomize the multitude of options a student has.
While there’s not an abundance of Masters and Ph.D. programs related to the subject, experts in the education sectors predict that there will be a global, standardized system by the year 2024. A well-designed infrastructure, coupled with an inclusive community, is highly likely to make eSports even bigger than the $1.1 billion industry it is now. We just have to wait and see.
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