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Grades for gamers: D&A College offers Scotland’s first esports qualification

Students at Dundee and Angus College will soon be able to get esports qualifications.
Students at Dundee and Angus College will soon be able to get esports qualifications.

For years youngsters have been told to put down their computer games and do their homework.

But now computer games could be their homework.

Dundee and Angus College will be the first in Scotland to offer a qualification in esports.

Esports is a growing multi-million-pound industry for people to watch teams of gamers compete for huge prize money.

Events can attract thousands of spectators, which has led to plans for an esports arena in Dundee.

Now Dundee and Angus College will offer a HND and HNC equivalent qualification thanks to a partnership with Esports Scotland.

Plans for esports college courses

The courses will start in January next year with students able to then progress to do a further two years of study at Abertay University.

Principal Simon Hewitt said the rise in esports will “spark a multitude of economic and employment opportunities for our region”.

Dundee and Angus College principal Simon Hewitt and James Hood, founder and chief executive of Esports Scotland.

He said: “Our ambitious digital strategy and proven track record in digital innovation put us at the heart of this exciting landscape.

“We’re delighted to be teaming up with Esports Scotland to build long-term engagement in esports locally and prepare our learners for the career opportunities ahead.”

Industry body Esports Scotland will also have its own esports training facility within the Gardyne Campus.

New esports competition launched

The partnership will also create opportunities for local students and school pupils.

These include tournaments, talks, summer bootcamps, work placements and jobs.

The college and Esports Scotland will also launch the Dundee and Angus regional esports cup.

The new competition will aim to engage both Dundee and Angus College students and local senior school pupils in esports.

Simon Hewitt, principal of Dundee and Angus College and James Hood, founder and chief executive of Esports Scotland in the new esports classroom at the college, with some of the course students.

Teams, mentored by Esports Scotland, will compete in a live playoff of game Rocket League later this year.

Creating a range of opportunities

James Hood, founder and chief executive of Esports Scotland, said the proposed esports arena in Dundee will create a range of opportunities.

He said: “As with physical sports, esports teams have coaches, psychologists, managers, events teams, the lot.

“The industry, including the new Dundee arena, will need a broader workforce to support and future-proof esports, from broadcasters and coaches to events and digital marketing experts.

“The future has never looked better for esports. We can’t wait to build awareness and engagement across communities.”

Dundee esport arena plans

His comments come as plans for a multi-million-pound arena in Dundee move forward.

A concept image of the esports arena on the waterfront.

Northern Lights Arena Europe is the firm behind the plans for a 4,000-capacity arena at Dundee Waterfront.

It will cost between £40 million and £60 million. It is hoped it will open in 2025.

Northern Lights Arena Europe chief operating officer Luc Delany said education is at the heart of their mission.

He said: “Esports have the potential to build life-long digital skills and fluency, kickstarting job opportunities and boosting the wider economy.

Luc Delany, chief operating officer of Northern Lights Arena Europe who are behind Dundee esports arena.

“Our digital arena will not only provide a world-class venue, but will create an eco-system establishing education pathways.”

Mr Delany said those will help form “long-term sustainable employment opportunities and skills development” for Dundee.

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