MANILA - More than a year after crafting a "draft curriculum," Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) is set to offer the first BS Esports program in the country in tandem with a gaming industry giant.
The 4-year BS Esports program LPU is set to offer for the upcoming academic year was an initiative of Tier One Entertainment, a Southeast Asian gaming company founded by Tryke Gutierrez and Alodia Gosengfiao. Tier One will serve as an industry partner and will be coordinating with LPU as they offer the course.
In a forum held Saturday morning, Gutierrez said they proposed the idea to LPU last year, stressing the need to have a "specialized" education for people working in esports, as the industry continues to grow.
"As much as we [me and Alodia] were able to build this company, 'yung backgrounds namin (our backgrounds) were different in the places we’re in. I did not study esports pero (but) my background was more about organizational communication. And that definitely helped me build this company but I still believe that specializing and learning more about the spaces in the academe is really very important before going into the workforce," Gutierrez, who graduated in an organization communication course in De La Salle University, said in the forum.
The program will offer 2 tracks: Esports Management, centered on planning esports affairs such as tournaments, team management, and other marketing affairs, and Game Design and Development, aimed at those who want to pursue a career in game development and design.
Gutierrez believes the inception of a formal education in esports will fly in the Philippines, citing the industry's popularity locally. It also aimed at supplementing the growth the industry is projecting in the future.
He emphasized, however, that the courses will be dedicated to people working in the "back end" of the industry or those who work behind the scenes in organizing esports events such as tournaments, and managing teams, and not for those who want to pursue a professional gaming or streaming career.
"How many people are working in the back end to make sure that an event like this happens? From the people who are working in the broadcast, helping on the marketing, gaming developers who created the game. Maraming tao at trabaho ang involved sa paggawa ng events," he said.
It also offers subjects such as team management, introduction to media, esports broadcasting, among others.
According to College of Technology dean Arlene Caballero, the instructors in the esports program are graduates of "allied courses" such as marketing, computer science, among others.
Tier One will also pool some of its executives as instructors, but Gutierrez also encouraged those working in other game development and esports management companies to teach for the program.
Those who want to pursue jobs in marketing, social media, esports team management jobs, game designers, game testers, among others, may take the BS Esports program, according to their course catalog.
However, Gutierrez maintained that the BS Esports program LPU will be offering is more dedicated to people who willingly want to continue building the competitive gaming industry as a whole, as it continues to grow over time.
"We didn’t build this industry wanting to get money. We didn’t start this because gusto naming yumaman o sumikat o makilala sa isang space na kilala na (We didn't start this because we want to get rich, get famous, or be know in one space that is already known)— but because we want to contribute. And I believe that if you come to a point na you want to contribute, mas magiging powerful ang journey niyo rito (your journey will be more powerful)," he said.
"I’m not here to promise jobs, I'm not here to promise you a secured future don’t tell your mom or dad or whoever it is that's going to pay for your tuition na 'Mom, sure ito.' 'Dad, 100 percent ito. Let me take this course' ... I believe na if this course provides you a good foundation, and a good enough structure and framework, it will equip you to contribute. 'Yun ang pinakaimportant for us. Kasi whether there will be jobs, whether there will be a promise, we will need more people who will contribute to this space. Because the more people that will contribute, the more it is sure that the industry will not just stay but it will thrive more," he added.
LPU will launch the esports program with flexible learning methods to start the next school year, as face-to-face learning remains suspended with the COVID-19 pandemic, Caballero said.
(100 percent, you will need a PC and a mobile phone. I guess something capable of running whatever's needed to run. Because at the end of the day, we can't expect people to understand. Like, how can you study F1 [driving] without a car? Unfortunately that’s something that you need a pc a laptop and a mobile phone.)
However, they will shift to blended learning "if the government permits."
They are also encouraging students taking the course to get the equipment needed such as a personal computer and a mobile phone equipped enough to open the necessary apps.
"100 percent kailangan ng PC at mobile phone siguro na talagang capable mag-run ng mga kailangan i-run kasi at the end of the day we can’t expect people to understand [like] paano ka mag-aaral ng F1 kung wala kang kotse? Unfortunately that’s something that you need--a pc a laptop and a mobile phone," Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez said they are also coordinating with international gaming companies for possible internships for BS Esports students in the future.
Interested applicants may check the course catalog here: https://manila.lpu.edu.ph/index.php/cot-po