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BS Esports: LPU, Tier One Develop an Undergraduate Degree on Esports

The Lyceum of the Philippines (LPU) is looking to add BS Esports to the list of degree programs offered within their system.

LPU isn’t doing this alone, however. They are apparently drafting the curriculum for the program Bachelor in Science in Esports (BS Esports) with industry frontrunner Tier One Entertainment. The talent agency’s CEO Tryke Gutierrez posted about their collaboration with the school’s foray into esports.

The proposed degree program will allow students to follow one of two tracks – game design and esports management. BS Esports will be a 4-year program. Although there is no official confirmation, it also seems like a two-year associate program in esports and game design is also in the works.

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The holistic approach towards the industry will cover not only the glitz and glamour of the esports industry. BS Esports will also teach students the less-known aspects of esports. “I can’t disclose the full subjects yet,” says Gutierrez in a Facebook post. “But we are 80% done.” Gutierrez also shared a document which appears to be the title page of the curriculum’s draft through Tier One’s Instagram account.

The BS Esports curriculum will be submitted by LPU to the Commission on Higher Education for approval on March 4. This opens the possibility of a full-fledged esports degree by the start of the next semester this August.

Precursors from Elsewhere

LPU’s entry into esports is groundbreaking but not unprecedented. Back in 2017, the University of Visayas New School (UVNS) made headlines for their attempt to include esports into their curriculum. UVNS established itself as an alternative to the old school system, where gamifying education is a key concept in their pedagogy. However, UVNS’s esports curriculum was offered in the Senior High School level, not as a degree program.

Outside of the Philippines, there have also been many attempts in integrating esports to education. Aside from esports degrees, Western countries have also offered scholarships to esports athletes.

The country, on the other hand, doesn’t have any such systems yet in place, nor is there any structure that could support this kind of system. To encourage schools to form their own varsity schools, the Philippine Collegiate Champions League is partnering with Mineski Global to establish a collegiate esports league. Such a program would help win over academicians to the idea of supporting video game athletics officially.

A Growing Industry

Demand for a gaming-savvy workforce grows as the industry itself grows. As such, it makes sense for esports companies to favor degree holders in esports. But just how much demand is there right now?

The growth of the local esports industry is apparent and undeniable, but we don’t have any concrete data regarding this. What we do have are Western sources that confirm this. According to multiple sources, 2019 was great for the industry as it experienced an 87% increase in esports jobs. The US accounts for more than half of this industry, employing 6,215 jobs out of the 11,027 total in 2019.