Chinese eSports champion Tencent has announced plans to contribute to Oxford University’s curriculum by introducing professional video gaming courses. According to Reuters reporting, the newest eSports addition at Oxford is part of a deal with a strong focus on innovation between the UK government and the company itself.
UK Secretary of State Liam Fox commented:
‘The next few years offer a golden opportunity for the UK to work with companies such as Tencent to drive innovation and shape the future of global trade.’
This is Tencent’s first foray into education and establishing eSports as a discipline to be studied and learnt. The company has been investing copious amounts in multiple venues, including streaming platforms, game developers, and tournaments. The addition of eSports in institutions of higher learning is new for Tencent, but it is not without precedent.
Esports is increasingly beginning to bear the trappings of mainstream sports organisations. In addition, the same hard skills are required from players, managers, and coaches alike.
Beyond eSports, Tencent will also gain a firm foothold in the UK entertainment and fashion industry. Tencent has been a flagship leader for the further development of eSports on an international scale and the introduction of courses may be a good sign for the industry as a whole.