Tournament organiser ESL has teamed up with the University of York in the first esports education-focused partnership of its kind in the UK.
The partnership focuses on three aims: teaching, research and careers.
ESL will hold regular masterclasses with University of York students, including workshops and taster days.
The uni says it will ‘align its teaching offerings with the needs of the industry’, while also offering BSc & MSc dissertations on esports.
ESL and UoY are co-designing an elective module on esports content production as a third year, credit-bearing module, aiming to launch in autumn 2018.
The news comes after Staffordshire University announced it would launch the first esports degree in the UK this year.
However, while Staffordshire has reached out to the esports industry in the UK, it’s clear ESL has been working with the University of York for some time. Having an experienced and well-known tournament organiser working closely with a university like this can only bode well for the quality of the teaching and research.
“Partnering with ESL is an exceptional opportunity for us to develop teaching about esports and career paths for our students in this rapidly growing industry.”
Professor Andrew Higson
For example, ESL internships will provide hands-on experience for ‘outstanding’ undergraduate students, while industry placements will be available for selected PhD students.
The collaboration will also involve the Digital Creativity Labs, an £18 million UK-funded research initiative focusing on digital and creative technologies. The University of York’s Film and TV Production degree and Interactive Media degree will feature esports, as will the Department of Computer Science.
The collaboration will also see PhD internships take place through the Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI) PhD programme and Digital Creativity Labs. Research explored by DC Labs investigates areas including AI, human-computer interaction, interactive storytelling, data visualisation, game analytics, behavioural psychology and more.
“We’re incredibly excited to be entering into a partnership with the University of York to help develop fresh new esports talent,” said James Dean, MD of ESL UK.
“We’ve always been committed to creating opportunities for more people to enter the industry and now, with the help of the University of York, we’re looking forward to being able to help make sure the future is even brighter and better than it is now.”
Professor Andrew Higson, Head of the Department of Theatre, Film and TV at the University of York, added: “Partnering with ESL is an exceptional opportunity for us to develop teaching about esports and career paths for our students in this rapidly growing industry.”
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.