Bond University has partnered with Australia’s most successful esports club The Chiefs in a deal that opens pathways for students to an industry predicted to generate US$300 billion by 2025.
The three-year agreement encompasses internships, tournaments, research and branding.
But perhaps of most interest to video gamers is the talent identification program that aims to unearth players for the booming and increasingly lucrative pro-gaming circuit.
The Chiefs Esports Club was founded in 2014 and has won multiple Oceania esports titles, fielding teams competing in League of Legends, Fortnite and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Bond University opened its state-of-the-art Esports Hub in 2019, with high-performance gaming machines, a training and coaching facility and the ability to stream to Bond’s 500-seat theatre.
Chiefs CEO Nick Bobir said Bond University would become the club’s official education partner.
“It's important for us to look to grow the next group of gamers and provide pathways,” Mr Bobir said.
“But there's also the research aspect. We're looking forward to working closely with the team at Bond and really diving deep into gamers in general, potentially looking at things like nutrition and psychology.”
Bond University’s Executive Director of Sport Garry Nucifora said the partnership was “just the beginning of where we want to take esports”.
“Having the Chiefs’ expertise in helping us develop our esports landscape at Bond University is really advantageous,” Mr Nucifora said.
“We want to be able to say, come to Bond University and we’ll teach you about the business of esports.
“A player or two may emerge but we are really focused on the education aspect. It is sport, but not as you know it.”
Associate Professor of computer games at Bond University, James Birt, said the partnership with the Chiefs would help prepare students for jobs in one the world’s fastest growing industries.
A 2019 report by Global Data predicts the video game market will be worth $300 billion by 2025, driven by advancements in mobile gaming, streaming and cloud computing.
“Bond students will learn from industry experts about the impact of digital media disruption and entrepreneurship -- hallmarks of the esports industry --and the translational skills and communication required for future jobs,” Dr Birt said.
“New and updated courses in 2020 are launching integrating esports and the associated industry into the classroom, allowing students to apply principles and strategies from the games industry to rethink how problems are solved and services are delivered.
“You don’t have to be an esports player to find a job in the esports industry.”