Welcome to english.eastday.com.Today is
Follow us @
Contribute to us!










Home >> auto >> Article
E-sports vault into the college curriculum
From:Shanghai Daily  |  2018-10-10 01:29

THE realm of electronic sports is so pervasive that Shanghai University of Sport and other educational institutions are now offering courses in the field.

“It’s estimated there are more than 200 million active players of e-sports in China,” Du Youjun, a dean at the university, told a freshman orientation session. “The industry generated revenue of 70 billion yuan (US$10 billion) last year and that’s expected to top 78 billion yuan this year.”

Twenty-one students have started e-sports study at the school this autumn. They will graduate just about the time Hangzhou hosts the 2022 Asian Games, where e-sports is expected to be included in the competition roster.

“There is a huge lack of professional talent in this field, including commentators,” Du said.

The trend has also aroused interest on other campuses. The Nanguang College of Communications University of China launched an e-sports analysis program last year to cultivate e-sports designers and operators. Several junior colleges and vocational schools are aiming to train players.

Last semester, Peking University began an elective course on electronic games to educate students about the emerging industry.

While educators are beginning to embrace e-sports, many parents remain dubious. It’s not uncommon for parents to forbid children from playing electronic games that take their attention away from academic studies. However, when it comes to e-sports as a college major, parents have more open minds, according to the e-sports majors at Shanghai University of Sport.

One of those students, Wang Liyao, from Henan Province, said she loves playing electronic games but had little time to do that except during holidays in her high school years.

“I’m lucky that my parents are open-minded and supported me in applying for this program,” she told Shanghai Daily. “My father also plays a popular electronic game, so he knows it’s a new, booming industry.” Student Wang Beichen from Anhui Province told Shanghai Daily he was initially worried that his parents might oppose his choice of a major.

“I told them I was simply applying for a major in broadcasting and hosting arts,” he said. “But after I passed the interview, I told them the truth. My father spent a whole night searching for information about the program online. He ended up supporting me after he concluded the major was in a ‘sunrise industry’.”

Jobs for commentators

The curriculum of the school isn’t aimed at teaching students how to play electronic games. Rather, it is aimed at giving them skills such as commentating on games.

According to Du, they will learn basic sports knowledge and commentary skills in the first two years, just like other students majoring in traditional sports commentary. Courses in the technicalities of game playing will be available only in the last two years.

The school’s program in sports commentary is already successful. All its graduates have found employment.

“Students have to be clear that they are here not to be trained as game players, but as commentators,” said Du. He added: “E-sports should not be treated simply as electronic games. This is a category of sports that requires rules and group cooperation, like other sporting games.”

As a new educational major, e-sports has scant teaching materials available. Du said the university is now drafting textbooks and teacher training manuals.

About 90 percent of the Chinese e-sport companies are located in Shanghai, ensuring fertile grounds for students to take internships during study and to find jobs after graduation.

“Sports, including e-sports, are increasingly international and require high-quality commentators to be good at English to understand the games’ culture and jargon,” he said. “That’s why we put the English oral test at the top of our interviews with school applicants.”

Some 240 applicants showed up for interviews this year.

“We planned to recruit 20, but some of the applicants were excellent, so we added one to the rolls,” said Du. “Next year, I believe there will be more applicants.”

Du estimated that there are only about 40 to 50 e-sports commentators in China earning up to 10 million yuan a year, and 400 to 500 commentators earning over 1 million yuan.

He said the university is also planning to train professional players and e-sports organizers in the future.

A special academy of e-sports is also under consideration.