A new course exploring the rapidly growing industry of esports has been launched in Evesham, and it is the only course of its kind in the region.
Evesham College has introduced its new BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Esports.
Esports is currently the second largest viewership sport in the US, only surpassed by the National Football League (NFL), and is one of the only competitive sports to achieve growth during the coronavirus pandemic.
The field has also seen professional gamers scoop multi-million pound prizes in online contests.
The course, backed by the British Esports Association, will give students the opportunity to learn about the unique industry, covering subject areas including enterprise, game design, marketing, business, teamwork, and event management.
They will also be able to develop their understanding of programming and website development, 2D and 3D graphics, IT technical support and management, and cyber security.
Students will study esports during the first year of the diploma, before choosing between IT or creative media practice in year two.
Investments have been made in new computer technology and classroom furniture to support the students.
Evesham College, part of college group WCG, is also set to launch its own esports team to compete in the annual British Esports Championships for schools and colleges, and students will have the opportunity to take part.
Andrew Brazier, Head of Creative Further Education at Evesham College, said: “Esports is one of the fastest growing sports worldwide, so it is incredibly exciting that we are able to launch the new course this academic year.
“It was one of the only competitive sports to continue unabated during the coronavirus lockdown, and as a result achieved a large boost of new viewers and competitors.
“The course will appeal to both those interested in becoming esports competitors and those looking to work behind the scenes.
“There are a lot of career options in esports such as team management, event organisation, game design and community management as well as supporting roles in marketing, PR and social media.
“The course will also provide students with transferable skills suitable for the wider industry, such as careers in online streaming, brand management, IT, computer networking and video production.
“It is also an extremely exciting prospect that the students will have the opportunity to represent the college in Esports competitions, and we will be looking for sponsors to support the team when they are up and running.”
Further information about the course and how to apply is available by visiting www.wcg.ac.uk/study