In a world-first collaboration, The University of York has announced a partnership with ESL, the world’s largest esports company, to deliver an industry led research and teaching partnership and create more links between esports and education in the UK.
This move is a welcome addition to the UK games industry and comes as Ukie, the UK games industry trade body, highlighted the importance of growing the UK as a hub for esports and the need to develop skilled talent.
Worldwide, esports has reportedly generated over £384 million in revenue during 2016 and gathered over 290m viewers. The new teaching and research partnership hopes to capture this growth through three key aims built into the partnerships: teaching, research and careers.
ESL will run regular masterclasses, workshops and taster days while offering BSc and MSc dissertation options on esports in 2018. In addition, ESL will also work with the university to create a credit-based elective module on esports content production for students in their third year of study.
One million dollars’ worth of investment has been generated for research into the future innovations in esports and education. Among other things, this will see the creation of paid PhD positions through the universities’ Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence programme, which already researches areas including game analytics and human behaviour.
As well as their academic approaches, ESL will generate hands-on experience for outstanding undergraduate students, while working with PhD students to provide industry-placements.
We’re incredibly excited to see this innovation in esports creating new routes to jobs and careers in the games industry, and are looking forward to seeing its development in 2018!