The recent success of eSports gaming made some universities in the U.S. and the U.K. to think about making eSports as a degree. The gaming industry has not been this grandeur with millions of dollars in pot money at stake.
Just a few months ago, a professional eSports gamer at age 16 won the largest individual prize money for a gaming competition worth $3 million. Kyle Giersdorf won the solo event competition of the game “Fortnite” at the Stadium in New York which is home to the U.S. Open tennis tournament.
Another successful story to mention is Harrison “Psalm” Chang, he dropped out of UCLA to pursue his professional gaming dream. He won $1.8 million in the same game Giersdorf won, where Chang went in at second place.
Before dropping out, Chang was already involved in an eSports club at UCLA, he was one of the coaches that help young aspirants of the sports. Former club mates shared that Chang’s move to drop out is very bold and he was just lucky he was good enough to make it through.
Ashley Denktas, student director of UCLA eSports gaming, said in a statement,
It is uncommon for students to drop out of school to pursue eSports, but it does happen occasionally. One of the goals of our club is to provide support for these athletes to make UCLA a gamer-friendly campus so they won’t consider dropping out.
Esports gaming as a college degree
The eSports gaming movement has started in China for a few years already. Technical schools in China offer eSports programs as part of an education program. A few colleges in the U.S. and now in the U.K. re considering taking the same path in learning, one of which is the University of Staffordshire who has launched its bachelor’s and master’s eSports program since last year.
The program is mainly focused on marketing and management skills tailored to the gaming industry.
The list of few colleges debuting their eSports program is as follows, Becker College, Britain’s Chichester University, The Ohio State Unversity, and Virginia’s Shenandoah University. These colleges are hoping to come up with similar success from their Asian counterparts in Singapore and China.
Virginia's Shenandoah University, Becker College in Massachusetts and The Ohio State University are debuting esports degree courses this autumn. What do you think of the idea? https://t.co/bOJjNrc27Z
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) October 1, 2019
Our era of technology makes eSports tournaments as equally profitable as traditional sports events with millions of dollars in the prize pool.
As of today, the largest prize pool in the history of eSports gaming at $34,330,068 belong to the recently concluded “The International 2019”, the international is a competition for the longest-running competitive eSports game “The Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA2)”, a game developed by Valve Corporation.