2014

South Korean University to Accept Video Gamers as Student Athletes

15_CAUChung-Ang University is a Top 10 ranked school in South Korea.

Chung-Ang University will be accepting electronic sports (also known as eSports) applications in 2015 for men and women that are exceptionally good at video games. The South Korean university considers competitive gamers the same as traditional athletes. All competitive gamers will be enrolled in the Department of Sport Sciences with their physically athletic peers. The Department of Sport Sciences will classify eSports an individual sport, even though video games can be played competitively by teams.

393_4eSports commentators report on live gaming events with audiences in attendance.

In South Korea being a “pro-gamer” is a real occupation, and professional career. Sports commentators have now included eSports into their commentary with 23 eSports events happening each year. There are also ten pro-gamer groups, and 400 active pro-gamers in the country. In 2000, the Korean e-Sports Players Association (also known as KeSPA) was formed. Their mission is to get eSports to be considered an official sport, while creating new events, making sure work conditions for programmers are appropriate, encouraging the general population to play video games, and managing the broadcasting of events. If one would like to watch their favourite pro-gamers play in a tournament live, there is a 500 seat eSports stadium that was designed specifically for online gaming in Yongsan-gu.

world-cyber-gamesThe World Cyber Games is a yearly video game tournament. In 2011, Busan hosted the event.

Aspiring students not only have to be good at video games, their grades have to be exceptional as well. There is no minimum entrance exam score, however, Chung-Ang University is consistently ranked a Top 10 school in South Korea. eSports is something new of its kind, but Chung-Ang University is not shy about offering new and innovative programs. The university has been the first in the country to offer courses such as PharmacyMass Communication, Advertising & Public Relations, Photography, and Drama Studies.

6 replies »

    • Thank you very much for reading my post, and for your comment. Unfortunately I cannot follow you back. The Embassy of the Republic of Korea is the sole owner of this blog, and does all the following. All the best with your blog!

  1. Wow, that’s interesting. Though I suppose it was just a matter of time. As you point out, it’s been a lucrative job for quite some time, so why not a university sport.

    I’ve been living in Busan for a number of years and I blog with a bunch of people at Sweet Pickles and Corn. I’m always trying to connect with other Korea-based bloggers. My recent post may be of interest to you: it’s about a (badly) botched attempt to communicate with a pharmacist many years ago. If you have a minute, drop by and check it out. Good luck!

    • I was actually surprised being a competitive video game player is a professional career in Korea. You’re right, if it is a professional career, why not have it be a professional sport? There are many video game tournaments around the world. Why not have Korea represented by our best athletes?

      I just read your recent blog. It was hilarious! I hope everything worked out with your “problem” and the athletes foot cream helped lol

    • Neither did I. I learned a lot from researching this topic. I think it’s so cool that Chung-Ang University is recognizing eSports.

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