Independent training provider Virtual Learning UK (VLUK) has teamed up with LAN centre chain Belong Gaming Arenas to launch an esports education programme.
The two-year esports BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma will be hosted within three of Belong’s gaming arenas located in Manchester, Birmingham and Sutton.
Primarily specialising in sports and performing arts, VLUK offers nationwide 16-19 study programmes and higher education in workplace settings. This is the training provider’s first entry programme within esports.
The BTEC will consist of 13 units, including esports event management, casting and esports coaching. The programme is aimed at students aged 16-18. According to VLUK, the collaboration with Belong aims to immerse learners in the heart of the esports industry. Moreover, the three venues have been selected to ensure that students from across the country can participate.
Since its creation in 2016, Belong has been creating community gaming arenas throughout the entirety of the UK and US. According to the company’s website, Belong currently has 28 facilities across the UK.
Jordan Eastwood, VLUK Head of Esports, commented on the partnership: “I’m so excited about this new partnership and I truly believe that this is the beginning of something really big in the esports world. Everyone at VLUK are thrilled that our learners will have the opportunity to learn within such fantastic locations with amazing facilities.
“It will give them fabulous opportunities to achieve and experience learning in the heart of the esports industry. I feel that this relationship will really enhance the learning experience for all students”.
In March 2023, Belong Gaming Arenas’ parent company Vindex was acquired by global esports conglomerate ESL FACEIT Group (EFG). As a result, the LAN chain became a standalone entity and will work independently.