European esports organisation Fnatic has launched a UK college partner programme to support students pursuing careers in gaming.
The organisation announced partnerships with three colleges (equivalent to the high school level in the US) to deliver lectures, industry access and equipment to students.
Fnatic’s programme will support the Pearson Esports BTEC, a practical learning-focused qualification for high school-aged students in the UK.
Over 2000 students at 70 institutions across the UK currently study the Esports BTEC, a course that treats esports more as a vehicle for teaching key skills than a subject.
Partnerships were announced with Access Creative College, Queen Mary’s College and Havant and South Downs College, which will launch at the beginning of the September 2022 school term.
The esports organisation said it will deliver guest lectures, webinars, networking events and provide ‘insider industry access’ to students, as well as supply high-tech equipment to the colleges. It will also look to offer industry insights and highlight the variety of roles that sit within the esports sector.
Alongside delivering lectures and networking events, Fnatic said its support for the course will include setting creative tasks — based on the curriculum — to give real-world examples of the challenges students may come across when working in the industry.
With tasks including producing an esports brand and managing tournaments, the objective of the partnership is to provide students aspiring to break into the industry with direct access to a real-world gaming brand.
Fnatic did not disclose details on which brands that might be, nor the equipment it would provide to colleges, but Fnatic has partnered with AMD, Monster and other endemic brands in the past.
It additionally plans to offer exclusive access to events, host tournaments and provide discounts on Fnatic merch. Most of these activations will be made available through a dedicated Discord server.
James Fraser-Murison, Esports Director at Queen Mary’s College and National Trainer for Pearson, commented: “As the leading provider of esports teaching in the UK, this is huge for our students and also the college.
“To partner up with the biggest esports organisation in the UK will mean we are directly giving our students a step-up into the industry with first-hand experiences, careers advice and opportunities from a global brand in one of the largest industries in the world.”