First Chinese e-sports graduates eye promising future
Published: Jul 07, 2021 03:23 AM
E-sports competition. Photo: CNSPhoto

E-sports competition. Photo: CNSPhoto

China’s first group of e-sports major graduates will emerge in the summer of 2021, with data showing that even though this major has been underestimated by the public, the future appears promising as there are hundreds of thousands of related jobs available.

After the Ministry of Education decided that “electronic sports and management” should be listed in colleges’ major departments in September 2016, around 30 Chinese universities kicked off their e-sports major courses in the same year, to meet the needs of the rise of e-sports related industries in the Chinese market.

“The major is designed to meet the demand,” Zheng Duo, co-founder of Tianjin Hero Sports Management and a visiting professor from the Communication University of China (CUC), told The Paper. “We’re in urgent need of high-level talent in the e-sports industry,” Zheng said.

Chinese passion for e-sports is not in doubt, with more than 18,000 e-sports companies registered as of 2021, according to corporate database Qichacha.

The number of e-sports users in China reached 500 million in 2021, and the market had a value of more than 145 billion yuan ($22 billion) as of 2020, according to Chinese consulting group iResearch.

Meanwhile, the industry chain is becoming more complete. Jobs in areas such as supervision and content production require talent and training. The number of available jobs is estimated at 500,000, and could reach 3.5 million in the next five years, according to China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

Well-known universities such as CUC and the Shanghai Theatre Academy have responded to the country’s call and are preparing graduates for the e-sports market.

Yet not every major graduate is qualified for the positions available, as the jobs normally require practical experience, which is something a lot of graduates lack. Industry insiders have indicated that e-sports is an industry with rapid iteration, and some companies prefer to hire people with experience instead of spending time training recruits.

Roughly half of the graduates will enter the gaming industry, Xiao Pi, an e-sports major graduate from CUC, told The Paper. “Some of the rest will pursue further studies for their master’s degree.”

“Even though e-sports majors have advantages in finding jobs, students need practical experience to better suit the different positions,” said Gu Liming, president of Perfect World Games.