The Electronic Sports League (ESL) will be teaching esports masterclasses at the University of York after the two entities formed a bold and brave collaboration of education, research and career opportunity.
I don’t eat sugar, so cheesecake is not in my periphery under normal circumstances.
But these weren’t normal circumstances.
Angels aren’t for me, but if they were, they would look like my ten-year-old nephew. So when the little cherub shoved his cheesecake in my face, told me that he had made it in school, and asked to taste it, how could I resist?
I wanted to pull my parka hood over my head and hibernate.
But I didn’t.
I tasted the bloody thing, and now all I think about is cheesecake.
And just like that, he folded his wings and fluttered back into this bedroom.
“He never leaves his bedroom, that kid,” said his Dad.
“Video games?” I asked.
“Video games.” He replied.
“Who knows, he could become a pro?” I suggest, wiping the cream from my lip like a satisfied ginger tom.
Back in the day, a kid locked up in his bedroom playing video games was a kid with low self-esteem and an avoidance of life. But today, for all we know, our children could be carving out careers that could net them millions of dollars doing something they love, and I’m not talking about working at the Cheesecake Factory.
The Electronic Sports League (ESL), and the University of York, has announced a unique collaboration to increase awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the esports industry.
According to an article in esportsinsider the collaboration will focus on three key areas.
ESL will hold regular classes at the University, and the latter is committed to offering BSc & MSc dissertations on esports. Together the pair will co-design an elective module on esports content production.
The pair will work together to carry out studies in the major areas such as the growth of AI, human-computer interaction, storytelling, game analytics, and much more. The pair will lean heavily on the work begun by Digital Creativity Labs, a £18m UK-funded research initiative that is one of the largest research labs of its kind in the world.
ESL internships will be available for undergraduates, and select PhD students will also have the opportunity to join the industry giant.
The partnership is another ray of light melting the glacial-like hostility that exists in some quarters of the world of sport when it comes to a bunch of Dirty Harry’s exchanging magnums for a keyboard and mouse.
It’s also good news for the gambling industry.
According to the information collators, IHS Markit, the total number of hours spent watching esports travelled beyond the 6 billion hour mark in 2016, up 19% YoY.
And we all know that when there is a strong sporting battle of supremacy between people or teams, there will be someone willing to open a book on the outcome while munching on a piece of cheesecake.