Bahçeşehir University expands its e-sports associate degree program into Europe

Established in Turkey, Bahçeşehir University which has campuses in Europe, is expanding its one year old e-sports training program abroad.

In the beginning of 2017, Bahçeşehir University (BAU) cooperated with Riot Games and within the  first year of the program, it supported twenty seven League of Legends (LoL) throughout the Turkey Championship and as well as other leagues. Professional e-sportsmen (there were students among them) were provided scholarship of 1 million TRY (258,960 USD).

BAU wants to train more e-athletes and enrich their career options in this field, and will also implement the e-sports program on their Berlin campus next year.

According to The Esports Observer, there are around 2,000 professional e-sports teams around the world. The number of players working to reach this level is measured in millions. However, regular practice is required to master e-sports. Young people who want to be professionals can fail in their classes or postpone their educations when they grasp an opportunity in e-sports.

According to Serhat Bekdemir, head of e-sports consultancy at Bahçeşehir University, these young people will have difficulty in finding jobs or finding jobs in the market if they do not have the right certificates, proper training, high level English knowledge and work experience.

BAU aims to build a long-term e-sports training infrastructure and train professionals who will cooperate with publishers who want to hire.

One of the former directors of Crytek Türkiye, Bekdemir states, companies and brands are focused only on the highest level of e-sports, and therefore argues that the potential of the ecosystem can not be revealed.

BAU will not be the first academic institution to bring the student-player approach to Europe. Many universities in Europe are conducting similar programs.

In July, York University began collaborating with ESL, the world’s largest independent e-sports league, and began offering e-sports trainings. Kanjaani University, based in Finland, organized a CS: GO summer camp this year, and then started a business license program for e-sports.

What makes BAU’s approach different from these universities is, it is possible to have a pre-bachelor’s degree program that is not completely e-sports focused. Students can study other fields on whichever campus they want and take the e-sports program optionally.

BAU wants to launch similar collaborations with Germany based game publishers like the Riot Games colloboration. In this way the intensive internship program of the university will also be available in this country. Students who are trained in e-sports can begin to work part-time in publishing companies for 3, 6 and 9 months, if they wish.

Bekdemir states that the students who participate in the internship program are covered by the social insurance costs and earn three credits at the end of the year to help finish the school.

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