How esports academies are shaping the future of esports
Esports is a billion-dollar industry with an audience of millions that continues to grow every year. While it may seem like just an emerging form of entertainment, its resounding and magnified success did not happen overnight. Instead, it was decades of hard work, dreams, and collaboration between various stakeholders. From players, game developers, tournament franchisers, and esports betting, among others, it has piqued the interest of the education sector as well.
Esports in education
Whether or not esports is a real sport, its growing global presence is pushing high schools, universities, and esports teams to redefine its role as a social and competitive activity. Multiple types of research have been conducted, and the majority show how it is more beneficial than previously thought. From organisations’ academy teams to universities’ esports programmes, read on to find out how they are shaping the future of esports and online gaming.
Esports organisations with academy teams
‘Esports academy’ is a new term within esports teams and organisations. While there isn’t a definite definition yet, it is a small group of up-and-coming prodigies who train to become professional gamers.
While many esports academies are completely dormant under the spotlight, some compete in minor leagues to gain experience. Both are, however, an excellent project to give young players a chance to join this fast-rising and competitive industry. In fact, you can think of them as youth teams in major sporting clubs like association football and basketball.
When asked about the objective of WUWO Media’s Enemy of Boredom (EOB) Esports Academy, founder and CEO Steve Godwin described it as, ‘A place for young people to come and feel comfortable while learning together and learning from each other, using video gaming and esports to build futures. It’s a place where ideas are shared, and individuals can explore their passions with the support of trainers and industry professionals’.
True enough, esports academies are great platforms. They hone inspiring gamers’ skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, multitasking, and most importantly, playing with a team through fostered bonds and improved communication.
Those qualities are important because esports tournaments are mostly multiplayer video games, and one crucial way to climb up the ladder is to have a varied connection in the industry. Gaming intelligence is a good foundation, but joining a community or gaming academy is a guaranteed powerful source to keep you inspired and invested in the long run. Let’s take a look at some of the most successful academies in the world.
1. EOB Esports Academy
EOB Academy is the U.K.’s first esports academy and video games centre. Their small class sizes and education programmes are open to 14 to 30-year-olds. They are designed to help the youth and unemployed to learn new skills and access work opportunities in the video gaming industry without having to play esports professionally. Their current partners are Prince’s Trust, Sutton and Distinct Training, and British Esports Association.
2. IMG Academy
IMG Academy is more than just into esports. Founded in 1978, they are the world’s most prestigious sports, performance and educational institution. Aside from world-class learning, they are lauded for their renowned boarding schools and sports facilities.
IMG Academy’s esports training camp, on the other hand, is powered by Gen.G, a leading esports organisation that connects the U.S. and Asia. It is a one-week camp open only for gamers ages 16 to 18, where courses include professional coaching, tournament entry, accommodations, and meals.
3. Fnatic Rising
If you have done esports crypto betting, then this next esports academy should be familiar to you. Fnatic Rising, formerly known as Fnatic Academy, is the academy team of the British esports organisation Fnatic. The latter is one of the richest teams in competitive gaming, amounting to total prize money of $16.6 million in 2021. As they have squads for the major video games, Fnatic Rising currently plays Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).
4. T1 Esports Academy
Some of the best esports players in the world, including Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein and Jesse ‘JerAx’ Vainikka, among others have encouraged many to become professional gamers. However, if you want to become the next Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok, currently known as the world’s highest-paid League of Legends player, you can apply now to T1 Esports Academy (TEA).
T1 is a renowned South Korean esports team managed by T1 Entertainment & Sports. TEA is a school intended to train, shape, and support promising gamers to become professionals. Their current programme is called Path-to-Pro. It’s a five-month programme with an ascending series of phases and evaluation periods. Successful trainees will join the team as amateur athletes. This is just one of the ways that South Korea has helped esports go mainstream.
Colleges with the best esports programmes
Looking back, the earliest video game competition recorded took place in 1972 at Stanford University. Given the nature of online gaming and esports, it shouldn’t be a surprise that high-ranking and tech-inclined universities have tapped into their growth. Here are some of the 10 best universities with esports programmes:
- University of California Irvine
- Miami University
- Maryville University
- Michigan State University
- Robert Morris University
- University of Toronto
- University of Utah
- George Mason University
- Bellevue University
- Winthrop University.
The exciting future of esports
Esports is here to stay, one way or another. Not only has it grown to be a major form of entertainment, but it has also become a successful and ever-growing industry that contributes and partners with non-endemic sectors.
From the rife growth of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) to crypto and blockchain technology, various studies have also shown how it benefits inspiring gamers, unemployed people, and even students. Give or take a few years from now, have you envisioned what other amazing projects will take place in the exciting future of esports? If there is one thing certain, you can find out all there is more to know here at Bitcasino.
Words by: Antoinette Laraze