Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lambton College Opens Gaming Arena, Offers Cutting-Edge Esports Diploma

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lambton College Opens Gaming Arena, Offers Cutting-Edge Esports Diploma

Article excerpt

Lambton College offering esports course

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It started with a suggestion from the IT department. Now it is part of the curriculum.

Lambton College is becoming a Canadian leader in the burgeoning world of esports.

The college, whose main campus is in Sarnia, Ont., has added esports to its varsity sports lineup -- alongside men's and women's basketball and soccer -- and next year will begin offering a cutting-edge two-year diploma in esports entrepreneurship and administration.

Lambton already has a dedicated gaming space -- called the esports arena -- with 20 high-end computers up and running. It's in a prime piece of real estate, right in the middle of campus.

"The feedback's been excellent, just in terms of the uniqueness of this," says Rob Kardas, vice-president of student success and campus service at Lambton College.

Lambton believes the course is a door into the largely untapped academic world of esports and a way to differentiate itself from other schools.

Goldman Sachs valued the world of esports at US$500 million in 2016, with expected market growth of 22 per cent annually compounded over the next three years into a more than $1-billion business.

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment got a first-hand look at the draw of esports when the North American "League of Legends" championship sold out the Air Canada Centre in two days in August 2016.

MLSE, owner of the NBA Raptors, subsequently signed up for the NBA 2K esports league, slated to debut in 2018.

In taking the esports course, Lambton students will study communications, sports marketing, finance, ethical leadership, teamwork, social media, health promotion, entrepreneurship and business development.

Courses will also cover the history of esports, industry hardware/software, game design and computer networking. A practical project course will ask students to use that knowledge to plan, develop and execute real-world esports projects.

The first class is expected to number some 40 students.

Graduates of the course will also have the option of continuing on to the college's three-year sports and recreation management program.

The Lambton Lions esports teams, meanwhile, will compete against other North American schools in the Collegiate Starleague. Teams were chosen after open tryouts in "Overwatch," "League of Legends" and "Counter Strike: Global Offensive. …

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