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York College University Centre Bett 2024 Esports 2

National Rocket League champions told Esports can help your career soar in a number of directions

The Head of Education for British Esports presented the talented York College Vikings Rocket League team with their Bett 2024 Trophy and then told students how their course is providing a “great platform” for “so many different” career and education routes.

Kalem Neale visited our Gaming Suite on Campus to congratulate our BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Esports students Jacob Sellars, Alex Donoghue and Giuseppe Gagliano-Fawcett on their success during the prestigious national event at ExCel London, where they won two tournaments.

With audience figures of 98 million for the 2018 Esports League of Legends final in Korea - two million more than that year’s Super Bowl - the Esports industry is now generating more money than the film and music industries combined.

As a consequence, the course, which is the equivalent to studying three A Levels, is opening the doors to a variety of vocational pathways.

For elite competitors a career as a professional gamer is obviously the dream but there are so many opportunities around the burgeoning industry in areas such as marketing, shout casting (online commentating), business management and even teaching as more and more institutions add Esports courses to their curriculum.

Kalem’s vocational journey has seen him go from football coach to Curriculum Leader of a Further Education college to his current role.

It is a roadmap that he had not envisioned, but he feels Esports is now an exciting and multi-faceted industry for young people to consider.

“I certainly didn’t think I’d be working in Esports if I look back,” he admitted. “In 2018, there was no such thing as Esports education.

“We now have Level 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 courses, Higher National Diplomas and degree-level programmes. The gaming industry has grown at such a rapid rate, but the education of Esports also has. This means that there is a gap in the market for Esports teachers.”

Addressing the room he added:

“You could be the Esports teachers of the future. If you haven’t considered teaching, I’d strongly urge you to.

“We need people who are knowledgeable, passionate and skilled to complete their studies and then return to education to teach. My Esports journey started in 2018 when I worked in the sports department as a Curriculum Leader at Barnsley College.

“I started to look at emerging industries and Esports naturally came up. In 2018, I saw a statistic released that said that 99% of eight-to-15-year-olds play video games. It surprised me at the time and, then, when I started to think, maybe it’s not that surprising.”

Also in 2018

The first Esports university degree launched in the UK at Staffordshire University – the same year that the Esports League of Legends Final was attracting higher viewing figures than the Super Bowl!

At the time, Kalem said he thought: “Something is happening here and what is it?” He started to think about how Esports could be studied and what could be done in response to the fastest growing industry in the world in terms of education.

Whilst at Barnsley College, Kalem spoke with Game Design students who had stopped their studies. They said that they liked the gaming industry but didn’t like the coding, that they didn’t want to make games and were more interested in the business side of things including shout casting. From there, a programme was created and a room set up with 14 PCs to accommodate a vocational Esports course including business, media and sports, which was equivalent to three A Levels.

Also in 2018, British Esports started the Student Champs. This was an opportunity for aspiring Esports competitors to take part in a competitive event. At the time, 15 schools took part, a small fraction in comparison to the now 180 competing institutions.

British Esports has recently opened up The National Esports Performance Campus in Sunderland which is home to Esports Team GB. Its gaming houses are also a space for education residentials and include sleeping accommodation, as well as kitchen, dining, living room and social spaces. In the roof of each gaming house, there are seven or eight top-of-the-line Alienware Aurora R15 gaming desktops, powered by NVIDIA GeForce RTX4080 and Intel Core i7 processors.

As a final word of advice to the Esports students, Kalem said:

“There are so many different progression routes after your studies. Be open minded to the Esports industry and then widen that.

“With Esports growing at such a rapid rate and generating more revenue than the film and music industries combined, there is huge potential out there for you and your course is giving you a great platform to access that.”

The double-winning Rocket League team were coached to their success at Bett24 by fellow Level 3 Extended Diploma in Esports student Connor Chittock and managed by Course Leader Tyler Wilson.

Along with the trophy, after entering a competition at Bett 2024, the team were also winners of an experience day for 15 students at The National Esports Campus. The prize included two 90-minute workshops and a free play experience at the state-of-the-art Sunderland campus.

The success of the College Esports Team serves as inspiration for aspiring gamers and, with their triumph at Bett 2024, they have firmly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the world of competitive gaming.

The Global Goals for Sustainable Development

Opportunities such as these, allow us to work towards a better future in line with The Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

The Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked objectives designed to serve as a "shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future”.

Which of the goals did this project benefit?