September 21, 2020

Let’s talk about esports school

Esports school. That’s not a phrase you hear every day. Not unless you’re one of the students and faculty at Hogeschool PXL or Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Up until the last few years, working in the Benelux esports scene was more of a fluke than an intentional career choice. Most “jobs” in esports have traditionally been volunteer positions and getting paid sometimes meant getting new gear or exposure instead of cold hard cash. As the scene grew, so did the opportunities. While paid positions are still few and far between, these positions exist because a group of gamers have created entire businesses around esports, all from the ground up. 

The problem with paving the way for everyone else is that lessons get learned the hard way. Failed events, misguided marketing, piles of unsold merch. And mistakes often cost money that groundbreaking startups sorely need. 

Learning the same lessons without the risk is one of the priceless things esports education might offer.

What if you could graduate from business school and jump right into the postgraduate program Esports Business Architect from PXL? Or the Expert Class in Esports Management at VUB? You could learn from the best local talent. Listen to guest speakers from the industry. Get ahead of the curve.

Join one of the most exciting and fastest-growing industries that has ever existed. 

Clearly we have big hopes for these programs.

The curriculum for the two schools is quite different. VUB focuses on what it calls “five important pillars of esports”: history, data, events, marketing, and the impact on society. They even set up a detailed press release with the weekly class subjects inside. Hogeschool PXL is headed in what seems to be a hands-on direction, with classes on revenue models, livestreaming, brand strategy, and more. It also happens that Alexander Dumon, a former member of LLL, is acting as course coordinator for the program at PXL. Insert high-five gif here.

Programs like these in the Benelux aren’t just important for growing the local scene. It’s a sign that things are changing. Sceptics are quickly beginning to see what the esports scene has to offer, especially in light of connecting millions of people during lockdown, and they want in. Schools want in. It adds legitimacy to our efforts that we can’t buy. When other sectors begin to understand that esports is neither temporary nor a joke, they’re more likely to approach teams for partnership opportunities or to step into the arena themselves. 

If politicians, investors, physio- and psychotherapists, and yes, parents, understand that esports is a real industry, a real job, it could burst the scene wide open.