Esports takes its own course – Malaysian University kicks off a college level Esports program

Shounak SenguptaPublished On: 
Esports and education have never been the best of friends, and many notable players have voluntarily dropped out or opted out of going for a higher education. While it may have worked in their favor, it certainly isn’t an affordable luxury for many around the world.  A big reason as to why India and other South East Asian countries have lagged behind in esports is certainly due to the culture and lack of opportunities.
Recently we had the government backed India Gaming Show in Delhi which was a huge success and initiatives like this add more and more legitimacy to a field which is understandably difficult for outsiders to grasp. And now, APU (Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation) has kicked a esports academy in their university.

Recognizing the rapid growth in the esports industry and the potential future it offers, APU has teamed up with eSM (esports Malaysia), which is the governing body for esports out there, and paved the way for something we might see implemented in other universities and colleges across the world.
What we know
Through the academy, students will be given the right environment and support system to hone their skills, both within and outside the game. There will be separate courses for players and separate ones for those hoping to pursue a career in esports in other capacities such as shoutcasting and managerial roles.
  • The APU esports academy will start offering courses from April onwards with initial focus on just players.
  • Currently professional gamers from the current scene have already been taken on board to offer guidance, coaching and expertise.
  • The titles that the academy has chosen to focus on will be limited to Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter Strike and FIFA Online for now.
  • The courses will be semester long, but will be conducted over the weekends so that it doesn’t interrupt the schedules of students. Admission will not be restricted to only students of the college so if you’re in Malaysia looking for opportunities in the esport world, this might just just be the right place to kick off your career. However there might be certain skill cap criteria that one may have to clear to be able to take part in the course.
  • The academy will aim to educate the general public about esports while developing esports in Malaysia.
Statements released by Datuk Paramjit Singh, CEO of the APUIIT Education Board, and Dato Latt Shariman Abdullah, speak of the need to start developing talent from grassroots level so that more and more youngsters can compete on a professional level. Deputy Higher Education Minister, Y.B. Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching, who was also present at the launching ceremony focused on the importance of soft skills, communication skills, leadership skills and critical thinking skills that students need to develop along with their talent in esports.
This move is definitely a step in the right direction as little by little the world begins to embrace the phenomenon that is esports. After reading this, we certainly wish that deans, HOD’s and Principals from educational institutions also get inspired to start something similar in their own universities and colleges. And hopefully, before we know it, students might just be applying for entire degrees and diploma’s in esports.
Datuk Paramjit Singh, Dato Latt Shariman Abdullah and Y.B. Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching at the launch