SINGAPORE - With eSports having been made part of the 2022 Asian Games and video gaming on track for Olympic recognition, gone are the days when gamers and athletes were on opposite ends of a spectrum.
Now, with Singapore's first-ever diploma in eSports and game design, gaming no longer needs to be polarised from academics either.
Launched by the Informatics Academy on Friday (June 1), the diploma programme - which lasts eight months for full-timers and 12 for part-timers - aims to equip students with skills in game development, eSports knowledge, team management, live-streaming of tournaments, game design theories and programming.
Students will attend eight modules at the academy's campus in the National Library Building, after successful completion of which they will be conferred the diploma.
They can then apply for the advanced diploma, or even a bachelor's degree in related fields at Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom.
The programme will have an annual triple intake in January, May and September, and applications for the first in September this year are now open.
Fees are $6,480 for local students, who must be at least 18 and have a minimum of two GCE A-levels, an international baccalaureate diploma or other equivalent pre-university qualifications.
Mature candidates over 30 should have at least a secondary education and eight years relevant working experience.
The programme is a collaboration with the Cybersports & Online Gaming Association, which operates an eSports academy supported by the National Youth Council. It is also supported in curriculum development, industry insights, guest lectures and attachment opportunities by key players in the industry, including ESL Asia, Riot Games and Twitch.
"As the global eSports industry continues to grow exponentially, so will the demand for quality eSports content from fans all over the world," said ESL Asia chief operating officer Frank Sliwka.
Addressing concerns that parents in the traditionally results-driven Singapore may be sceptical about such programmes, Informatics Academy general manager Allan Norton insisted: "As a parent (myself), it's important to know that this is both an academic pathway as well as a vocational pathway that can lead to a long-term career.
"There are hundreds of eSports teams all around the world. There is going to be a legitimate demand for this industry itself. It's not all about the gamers, it's about the industry."