The first ever UK eSports degree students enrolled
eSports is one of the world’s fastest growing sectors and has proven to be incredibly lucrative for game developers, players, event organisers and investors.
Competitive gaming has now evolved to the stage that it is not seen as entertainment for the players, but for the thousands of tournament-goers who attend ticketed eSports events around the globe. Examples like the 2014 League of Legends World Championship finals, hosted by Seoul, show just how popular the practice has become with the event pulling in a crowd of over 40,000.
eSports champions are treated similarly to global sports megastars and are commonly retired in their early twenties after having bagged millions of pounds worth of prize money and world titles. Make no mistake, eSports is a big business and economics experts believe that eSports will be worth approximately £685m by the end of 2018.
And, following the growing trend of eSports, this month a select number of students in the UK will undertake a degree on the subject for the first time.
The University of Staffordshire is the first in the country to take on students looking to study eSports, in a degree that the university describe as focussing “on the business side of eSports and builds on the University's reputation as a leading institution for Computer Games degree courses”. It is expected that this will include event management, promotion and community building online.
Rachel Gowers, Associate Dean for Recruitment in Staffordshire Business School commented: "It's great to be at the forefront of what the industry is crying out for. The fact that the course clearly has international appeal is a huge bonus for all the students involved, it really will be a global course."
She added: "The University will shortly be commencing work on a dedicated eSports lab which will be ready in the summer. We've been working with the industry to make sure it is top spec as well as having the right look and feel and we can’t wait to unveil it to the new students."
The University has said it has received applications from students in Russia, China and America.