Dundee and Angus College leading the way in Esports education

Dundee’s thriving tech sector will enjoy a boost this week as professional gamers get ready to descend on the Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre (DCA) to compete in the nation’s most ambitious Esports tournament to date.

Taking place between 18-21 November, the fourth instalment of The Scottish Esports League (SEL4) will see gamers from across the country competing for their chance to win a share of the £10,000 prize pot – the biggest in the history of Scottish Esports. The tournament will be streamed live on Twitch so fans from all over the world will be able to tune in and watch the proceedings. Those coming along to enjoy the action in person will be able to find out more about the opportunities on offer in Scotland’s growing Esports industry from Dundee and Angus College’s Computing and Creative Media team.

The Esports industry has been growing rapidly in recent years, both in terms of viewership and revenue, with the global market expected to reach £1.3bn in 2022. This growth has been accelerated by the pandemic with lockdown boredom prompting many to pick up their games consoles and connect with others through their screens.

The burgeoning growth of the competitive games industry, coupled with Dundee’s planned multi-million pound Esports arena development bringing a multitude of economic and employment opportunities to the region, means that there has never been a better time to consider Esports as a viable career option. As a forward-thinking organisation with an ambitious digital strategy and proven track record in digital innovation, Dundee and Angus College has established itself firmly at the forefront of this flourishing landscape.

The College has been working collaboratively with Esports Scotland and Abertay University to deliver a progression pathway, from introduction through to Degree level, that will support the future development of this exciting industry and maximise the educational benefits. Esports has already been incorporated into the College’s course portfolio and plans are in place to build upon this offering as the industry evolves. The College’s expertise has not gone unnoticed in the further education sector with the organisation recently being appointed lead collaborating partner of the Scottish Colleges Consortium of Esports.

One of the College’s objectives is to challenge the common misconception that playing video games is simply a fun recreational hobby that isn’t intellectually stimulating. Laura Louch, Creative, Cultural & Digital Sector Development Lead at Dundee and Angus College, explains how competitive gaming can lead to the acquirement of a number of valuable meta-skills that are transferable to a professional setting: “Participating in Esports helps to build critical soft skills, from stronger communication and collaboration to critical thinking and teamwork. These skills can give individuals important competitive advantages for future academic and professional performance and can lead to a diverse range of careers in the tech, digital and STEM industries as well as more general roles in areas such as marketing and business development. We are delighted to be part of the SEL4 event and to have this platform to highlight the many benefits of Esports.”

Gillian McGovern, Head of Sector for Creative Cultural and Digital at Dundee and Angus College, says: “We are extremely excited about being a part of the SEL4 event and getting the opportunity to showcase at the DCA. The Esports arena has been a focal point of our discussions at the College over the last year or so and this global event which will be streamed live from Dundee sets the scene of what’s to come for the region. The opening of the arena will provide a number of job opportunities and the College will play a vital part in providing the future workforce with the skills and experience required to fill these roles”.

Representatives from Dundee and Angus College will be at the DCA between 18-21 November showcasing a range of interactive digital activities for the duration of the SEL4 event. Attendees will be able to learn about Esports, the benefits of studying it and future career pathways. Anyone who is interested in finding out more, but can’t attend the event, can visit www.dundeeandangus.ac.uk/subject-areas/computing-creative-media for more information.