Newcastle College is offering an exclusive opportunity to turn a passion for gaming into a career in the growing Esports industry.

The first and only Esports study programme in the North East launches this September, as Newcastle College partners with Newcastle United Foundation to launch courses for aspiring young competitors in the region looking to level up their skills.

Esports (also known as electronic sports) is any form of competition using video games. The exciting new courses will offer students the chance to represent Newcastle United Foundation in organised Esports competitions and fixtures throughout the academic year, alongside learning about the fast-growing creative industry.

Both course curriculums cover all aspects of the Esports industry, including competitive gaming, livestream event management and game business entrepreneurship and help to prepare young people for employment in its associated industries of sport, business and leisure.

The qualifications will provide a perfect pathway to a variety of careers – from Esport professional to games psychologist, livestream event organiser, sports journalist, social media manager, games designer, production crew or even international lawyer.

Students will also develop transferable skills and wider knowledge around teamwork, leadership, strategic thinking and financial planning.

Steve Beharall, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “We are thrilled to be extending our ongoing partnership with Newcastle College to offer young people in our region the most up-to-date and exciting opportunities to learn and work towards new and interesting careers right here in the North East.

“These new courses are truly one-of-a-kind in the region and we are excited to see what the future holds for the first cohort of students starting their journey in September.”

Scott Bullock, Principal of Newcastle College, said: “We are excited to offer this new course and hopefully help enhance the booming tech sector here in the North East.

“In 2020, Newcastle was one of only four cities to make the Smart City Index, and this innovative, creative course will help build transferable skills and multiple learning opportunities for students to take into their future academics, apprenticeships or careers prospects.

“Esports education offers a new and innovative qualification for young people to learn and develop their knowledge and skills to prepare for their own journey into a new type of career and enjoy opportunities to join a thriving games sector.”

In recent years, the Esports industry has seen remarkable growth with tournaments hosted and live-streamed around the world, viewed by up to 30 million people online per day and broadcast across mainstream media including Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online.

Professional Esports player Jake Simpson, 22, from Consett, currently represents the Magpies in the ePremierLeague under the gamertag PlanetToast and is one of the top-ranking UK FIFA players, recently earning his place to compete in the EA SPORTS FIFA 21 tournament after securing victory in the 2021 ePL playoffs. Jake will be involved in the new courses, offering his expertise to the next generation of competitive gamers, event managers and games business entrepreneurs by answering student questions at events and tournaments held during the course, with young gamers able to test their talents against his from September 2021.

Applications for Esports Level 2 and Esports Level 3 are now open.