The APRU MetaGame Conference seeks to incorporate the full ecosystem of Esports , from gamers to industry partners, to government and to students – we are seeking to expand the purview of Esports . The inaugural MetaGame Conference will focus on Hong Kong as an emerging Esports leader in the region and examines the ways that an international network of Esports leaders can further its scope within universities from Esports as digital entertainment to developing career pathways for students in the Esports ecosystem.
The APRU Esports Metagame Conference will take place within a broader convening titled the Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum hosted at Cyberport in Hong Kong on December 12, 2020. The APRU Esports Metagame conference includes three components:
Gaming – A competition be held that can be opened to local students along with invited teams from APRU’s UEII Consortium.
Policy Discussions – Inviting both local and international Esports scholars with policy makers to discuss the evolution of Hong Kong Esports’s policy landscape.
Next Generation Learning – Inviting both local and international Esports scholars to discuss relevant learning topics of Esports , such as engineering, education, youth development, etc.
Borregos Esports Invitational is the first international university tournament organized by Tecnológico de Monterrey, which includes the 56 leading research universities of APRU representing 18 economies of the Pacific Rim known worldwide for academic research and excellence. In this competition, Clash Royale will be played in its competitive mode (3 vs 3), taking place from December 10-12 (UTC -6 hours).
Participating universities / teams:
Nanyang Technological University
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Tecnológico de Monterrey
University of California, Davis
Each member of the winning team will receive 194.80 USD prize, which will be redeemed in online video game stores chosen by the university coordinator.
While the pandemic has presented challenges to the gaming and esports industry, the global lockdowns and the new normal have also brought growth opportunities and have taken the industry to the next level with online gameplay and competitions taking centre stage. With the theme of “New Normal of Digital Entertainment: From Gamification to Esportification,” DELF 2020 will lead the industry to identify market drivers and new monetisation models, decode the value chain of this booming sector, as well as tap the global trend of esportification to effectively cope with the new normal.
For the first time, DELF 2020 will bring together the physical and virtual worlds of digital entertainment and esports with a hybrid setting that allows industry players and enthusiasts alike to join us both in person and virtually at any time, from anywhere. More than just industry insights, DELF will also stage a series of live tournaments, show matches, performances, game experiences, start-up showcases and power pitches to offer participants a total experience – from the online platform to the physical festival!
DE*Spark will return to present a month-long digital entertainment extravaganza with an array of mind-blowing esports tournaments and gaming events. Join us in person or virtually from anywhere in the world to explore the new normal of esports!
Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Ltd.
Welcome and Introduction
Mr Peter Yan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited. As the CEO of Cyberport, Mr Yan leads the digital technology flagship to focus on fostering talent cultivation, industry development, and integration of new and traditional enterprises to realise Cyberport’s vision to create new impetus for Hong Kong’s new economy through digital technology.
Mr Yan is an industry leader with over 35 years of experience in the information technology industry. Prior to joining Cyberport, Mr Yan was the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of SUNeVision Holdings Limited, and has held various senior management positions in large consulting and information technology services companies including Accenture, Tradelink Electronic Commerce Limited, and Computer and Technologies Holdings Limited.
Mr Yan has been active in public services especially in areas of talent development and digital technology industry development, serving as member of the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ), member of the Financial Services Development Council’s Human Capital Committee, Chairman of the advisory committee of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)’s MSc in Information and Technology Management Programme, Director on the Board of Management of the HKU Technology Transfer Company Versitech Limited, as well as sitting on the Council of the Open University of Hong Kong (OpenU).
Mr Yan is also an advisor for various programmes and projects for City University of Hong Kong (CityU), the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), and the University of Hong Kong (HKU). He is a life-time fellow of the Hong Kong Computer Society, and sits on a variety of committees, boards and councils of prominent organisations in the I&T sector, including the Smart City Consortium Steering Committee, the GS1 Internet of Things Industry Advisory Council and the Institute of Big Data Governance, among others.
Mr. Yan was appointed as Justice of the Peace in 2017 and was conferred 2020 Chapter Honoree by CUHK Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma.
Mr Yan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from CUHK, and received Executive Education from the Harvard Business School.
Dr. Tremewan was elected as APRU’s 4th Secretary General and took up the role from June 2011.
Before heading the APRU International Secretariat, he was the Vice-President/Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) of the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social anthropology from the University of Auckland, a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in political science (on Southeast Asian politics) from the University of Canterbury.
He was elected a senior associate member of St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, in September 1991 from where he published the book The Political Economy of Social Control in Singapore (Macmillan and St Martin’s Press, 1994, reprinted 1996). He was a visiting fellow at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in 2003 and a visiting professor at Peking University in 2007 – 2008.
In 1995 he became the founding director of the New Zealand Asia Institute, which he led until 1999. Previously, he held positions as a senior consultant, executive secretary, and research director for international development organizations based in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo.
A specialist on social regulation in Southeast Asia, his research has recently focused on the internationalisation of higher education.
Executive President and Rector, Tecnológico de Monterrey
President Garza has a bachelor’s degree on Computer Systems from Tec of Monterrey and a PhD on Computer Science from the State University of Colorado.
Throughout his 30 years of service at Tec, Garza has occupied several academic and executive positions such as director of Research and Graduate Program; dean of Information Technology and Electronics and dean of Engineering School at the Monterrey Campus.
He was also General Director of San Luis Potosi’s campus, rector of the Metropolitan Area of Monterrey and Vice-Rector of Undergraduate position from which he led key academic initiatives related to the improvement of students and professors, and the development of Model Tec21. Subsequently he was named Academic Vice-Rector of the Institution.
Since July 1st, 2017, Garza is Rector at Tec de Monterrey, a private non-profit university part of the 35 best private universities of the world according to the QS ranking. It has 31 campuses in Mexico and presence in 13 countries, almost 90 thousand alumni and more than 10 thousand professors.
Garza has been a research professor in the Information Technology and Electronics department, imparting lectures in disciplines related to technology, both in university and masters and PhD levels. As a researcher he participated in the definition and development of projects financed by prestigious national and international institutions such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, European Commission and National Council of Science and Technology, and CONACYT. Some of his research projects have been developed in collaboration with international institutions such as Virginia Tech, Southwest Research Institute and Colorado State University. Author of multiple articles and consultant of different corporations’ projects, he was recognized on two occasions with the Distinguished Professor Award.
He was President of the Global Engineering Deans Council’s, an initiative created with support of the American Society for Engineer Education and the International Federation of Engineer Education Societies. In 2012, Garza received the Honoris Causa doctorate from the American University of Nicaragua. He’s an active member of professional associations and organizations such as ASEE, IEEE, ACM, Sigma Xi y Phi Kappa Phi.
Garza has participated in committees of conferences and state, national and international level councils of a variety of corporate and academic organizations. He has also been invited as speaker and panelist to international events in more than 15 countries.
Prof Anthony BORQUEZAssistant Professor, Clinical Entrepreneurship, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California
Anthony Borquez is the Founder and CEO of Grab, a digital entertainment company founded in 2010. Grab is a developer and publisher of virtual reality and augmented realty content, in addition to their background with mobile apps and games. A few of Grab’s products include Knockout League, a leading VR game across all VR platforms, John Wick Chronicles, and GameviewAR, an augmented realty Esports viewing platform.
Anthony is active in Esports as a board member of Team Envy, one of the world’s leading esport organizations. Winner of 2016’s esports Team of The Year. Team Envy is comprised of a group of teams that compete in the Overwatch League (OWL) as the Dallas Fuel, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, PUBG, Street Fighter, Rocket League, and Paladins.
Prior to Grab, Anthony was Founder/CEO of Blue Label Interactive, a mobile game company acquired by Konami in 2006. At Konami, Anthony served as Vice President for the online and mobile business. Before starting Blue Label, Anthony co-founded Spacient Technologies, a mobile software company acquired by Trimble, an industry leader in mobile GPS technology.
Dr. Borquez has been teaching at the University of Southern California since 1994. He currently teaches Technology Entrepreneurship in the Marshall School of Business and Video Game Production in the Viterbi School of Engineering. Anthony received his BS, MS, MA, and Doctoral degrees all from the University of Southern California.
Director, USC Hong Kong Int’l Office, Strategic and Global Initiatives, University of Southern California
Etta Wong is the Director for USC Hong Kong International Office, Strategic and Global Initiatives. In her capacity, she is responsible to work collaboratively with all USC professional schools for admissions, academic programs, alumni and parent’s development. She is also the primary ambassador to develop university’s relationship with both private and public sectors in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.
Prior to USC, she joined the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) as the Head of MBA Programs and International Initiatives. Etta has over 20-year of working experience in leadership position. She began her career as a newspaper journalist, and was the managing director of a fortune 500 talent development company where she coached many executives in career transition.
Etta earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and Master in Social Science from HKUST. She is a certified executive coach. Recently she is also a voluntary committee member for AmCham HK Future Leaders Program.
Senior Lecturer, School of Computing, National University of Singapore
Global Exchange: Emerging Esports Ecosystems
Dr Anand Bhojan graduated with B.Sc. in Computing with Gold Medal from Bharathiar University in 1994, Professional Masters in Computer Applications from Bharathidasan University in 1999, PGC in Teaching Higher Education from University of Sheffield, UK in 2003 and P.hD. from NUS in 2011. Anand received research achievement award and his thesis was nominated for best PhD thesis award. He is a member of the Communication and Internet Research Lab (www.cir.nus.edu.sg) and Graduate studies committee. Anand is founder of Anuflora Systems (www.anuflora.com) and Virtual and Augmented Reality Labs (www.varlabs.org). He is Associate Editor of Computers and Electrical Engineering Journal, Elsevier. He is Vice President of International Researchers club, Singapore. Anand have been serving as Organizing Chair and Program Chair of several International conferences and in the Program Committees of several International conferences. He has given Keynote talks in IEEE/ACM International Conferences.
Associate Professor, Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Global Exchange: Emerging Esports Ecosystems
Prof Peichi Chung received her Ph.D. from the Department of Telecommunication, Indiana University-Bloomington. Her teaching and research interests include new media and digital culture. In her teaching, she focuses on new development in media cultural studies. She examines issues related to new media production and cultural policy in sub-regional locations within Asia. Her research focuses on media industry analysis at both corporation and government levels. Since 2006, she intensively studied innovation dynamics in online game industries. She has conducted cross-country research in Asia, analyzing new media industries in Korea, China, Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries. She is currently completing her longitudinal ethnographic work on Asian game industries in East and Southeast Asia.
Student, President of NUS E-Gaming (NUSEG), National University of Singapore
Global Exchange: Emerging Esports Ecosystems
In University, Sean is an active Student Leader. As President of NUS Esports, he leads the Varsity Sports club. Under his leadership, the NUS esports community has grown over 1300%, to a community of over 550 active students, across 5 divisions. With his strategic foresight and organisational planning, he has penned the NUS Esports Doctrine, which the teams use for their weekly trainings. In the Inter-Varsity Games Festival 2020, NUS was able to clinch 1st place in 3 out of 4 events, coming in 2nd for the final event.
Sean was critical in helming the creative direction of NUS Esports as well, devising the framework for regular CCA sessions, and bi-monthly recreational events for the club and the rest of the university. For instance, the Back-to-School event organised in Aug 2020 attracted over 160 students and alumni to partake in community fun and games online. He has also been a key component in liaising with the relevant school departments to garner support for the club and to ensure that the club operates within the strictures of the university regulations.
An avid esports athlete himself, Sean is deeply passionate about developing the esports scene in Singapore. He is a nationally certified esports coach, and brings his experiences to the fore when directing NUS Esports. In his free time, he coaches the NUS League of Legends team, mentoring them to improve their teamplay, and going over the strategic implications of the game to improve their performance. Sean is also engaged by the Singapore Cybersports & Online Gaming Association (SCOGA) to provide trainings to students interested in learning esports, introducing them to coordinated play and communications skills.
In 2008, Terry and his younger brother Terence gave up their stable, high-paying jobs to start their own company. Originally they launched a website creating online greeting cards but had a tough time with the business. In 2010, the brothers managed to turn the company around through creating Facebook apps. They then decided to venture into the development and distribution of mobile games.
In early 2013, their company, Madhead, launched Tower of Saviors (神魔之塔) which became one of the most popular mobile games in Hong Kong and Taiwan shortly after launching. Within a year, Tower of Saviors had already attracted over 16 million downloads from around the world. The company now has offices in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and altogether employs over 120 staff. In recognition of Madhead’s outstanding achievements, Terry was selected as the 2013 Ernst & Young China Emerging Entrepreneur Category Winner.
Founder & CEO of Yes! E-Sports Asia Holdings Limited (“YEAH”)
Mr. Timothy Shen is the Founder and CEO of Yes! E-Sports Asia Holdings Limited (“YEAH”), a leading horizontal “Esports +” platform in Asia. One major focus of YEAH is to foster e-sports talents in Asia, to match these talents with the appropriate resources. It is engaged with business as events and tournaments, esports education, and talent management. It has held more than 100 activities, covered over 35 countries, and collaborate with more than 1,000 talents around the world.
In addition, Tim is the Chairman of Huge Famous Investment Group and Safari Asia Limited. He has over 20 years of extensive experience in the accounting, corporate finance, investments, M&A and restructuring advisory areas with companies such as Merrill Lynch, also served as the management of listed companies in London and Hong Kong market.
Tim holds both an MBA and LLM (Master of Law) degree. His professional designations include the Certified Public Accountant (USA and HK), Certified Financial Planner (Canada & HK), and Chartered Financial Planner (Canada).
Student, Vice President of the NTU Esports Society, Nanyang Technological University
Promoting Equity in Esports, Without Creating Barriers
Hi, my name is Ariana Kaitlyn Yeo, I am currently an undergraduate of Business from Nanyang Business School in Nanyang Technological University (NTU), specialising in Banking and Finance.
I have varied interests; art, gaming, sleeping, chess, and cooking are a few of the many hobbies I dabble in. There are many more activities I would like to try and get into whenever my schedule permits. Additionally, as a musician, I enjoy both listening and creating music. With the Bass Guitar as my weapon of choice, I have performed in several performances both in and out of school.
Currently, on top of being a full-time undergraduate student, most of my time is dedicated to the management and day to day running of the NTU Esports Club as its Vice President, Head of External Affairs. I am currently the Head of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (a mobile Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game) for this semester.
My position in the NTU Esports Society is a testament to my love for video games. This also means that I am well-versed in the matters surrounding the gaming industry. From immersive role-playing games to adrenaline-pumping competitive shooters, I have enjoyed a wide selection of titles.
Student, Director of UCLA Esports, University of California, Los Angeles
Promoting Equity in Esports, Without Creating Barriers
Student, Director of UCLA Esports, University of California, Los Angeles
I’m Cathy Ge, the Director of UCLA Esports and a 3rd year Economics student here at UCLA! I’m incredible passionate about competitive operations and collegiate esports. Besides my work at UCLA, I also administrate tournaments for Tespa (Blizzard’s college subsidiary) and work as an observer for Blizzard. My favorite games are COD: Warzone and League of Legends.
Head Coach of League of Legends (LoL), University of Southern California
Promoting Equity in Esports, Without Creating Barriers
Joe is the head coach of League of Legends (LoL) at the University of Southern California (USC). He graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Communication Studies where he focused heavily on gender and communication, exploring its influences on esports. During his time at Virginia Tech, he would reach Challenger (Top 300) in League of Legends on two different accounts as well as would go on to create a team that would win $20,000 in collegiate scholarships in just 2 years.
Now, coaching at USC he’s created another Collegiate League of Legends team that placed within the Top 25 Collegiate LoL Teams according to ESPN Esports.
Additionally, Joe was nominated by PlayVs as a “Super Coach” for his work with Westridge school for girls, where he coaches ESports part time. Demonstrating his commitment to a better and more inclusive environment within gaming as well as helping to create a pipeline between high school and collegiate Esports.
Adjunct Professor, Peter A. Allard School of Law, The University of British Columbia
Promoting Equity in Esports, Without Creating Barriers
Jon Festinger, Q.C. (LL.B., B.C.L. 1980 (McGill University)) is a Vancouver, British Columbia based counsel and educator. A faculty member at the Centre for Digital Media (http://thecdm.ca) Jon has taught media, entertainment and communications law topics at the Allard School of Law, UBC, for over two decades, as well as occasionally teaching at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law and the UBC Graduate School of Journalism. He is the author of the first edition of “Video Game Law” published by LexisNexis in 2005, and co-author of the 2nd Edition published in 2012 (http://www.lexisnexis.com/store/ca/catalog/booktemplate/productdetail.jsp?prodId=prd-cad-01004). As a graduate of McGill University’s Faculty of Law, Jon began his legal career in private practice, in turn becoming General Counsel of WIC Western International Communications, Senior Vice President of the CTV Television Network and Executive Vice President, Business & General Counsel of the Vancouver Canucks. Jon practices law through Festinger Law & Strategy, is Past-Chair of Ronald McDonald House British Columbia and a Director of viasport B.C. . Jon is a dedicated fan of auto-racing simulations.
Student, VP External Relations of UBC Esports Association, The University of British Columbia
Promoting Equity in Esports, Without Creating Barriers
Nessa Harrison is currently the Vice President of External Relations at the University of British Columbia Esports Association. She discovered esports in 2017 and has dedicated herself to promoting collegiate esports as an inclusive community on campus ever since. Throughout her time at UBC, she has grown from specializing in Overwatch events to overseeing partnerships for the entire club. She currently works for Akshon Esports as their Community Engagement Manager and is an NVIDIA Student Officer, representing UBCEA amongst other student leaders in esports across North America.
Professor, USC Games Program, Faculty Advisor for USC Trojan Esports, University of Southern California
Jim Huntley is a Marketing and Brand Management Executive with over 25 years of experience leading teams across multiple industries. After graduating from Northwestern University’s Masters of Marketing Communications program, he joined General Mills where he managed marketing and promotions on Betty Crocker Products, Lucky Charms, and Cheerios. He followed that with a stint at Nestle before transitioning into the toy industry and spending 4 years at Mattel, working on brands as varied as Hot Wheels, Barbie, He-Man, Max Steel, and Justice League. His success on Barbie brought him to MGA to work as their VP of marketing on their Bratz line, then transitioned into video games by taking a role at THQ. In his almost 5 years there, he served as Marketing VP on their kids products (SpongeBob, Disney’s Cars, Wall-E), and T/M rated titles like MX vs ATV, Space Marine, Homefront, UFC 2010, WWE, and Darksiders 1 & 2. He most recently relaunched the SodaStream brand in the US with a business transforming TV spot that is now being used globally, and is currently consulting for a variety of companies in the toy, consumer products, and gaming industries. He is also a Professor in the USC Games program at the University of Southern California.
December 12, 2020, 9 AM-12:30 PM Hong Kong/Singapore December 11, 2020, 5 PM-8:30 PM Los Angeles/Vancouver
The APRU Esports Metagame Conference will take place within a broader convening titled the Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum hosted at Cyberport in Hong Kong and will be featured on Day 2 of DELF. More information is detailed below.
Welcome and Introduction
Mr Peter Yan, CEO, Cyberport Hong Kong
Dr Christopher Tremewan, Secretary General, APRU
Executive President and Rector, Prof David Garza, Tecnológico de Monterrey
E-Sports Trends of the Future,
Discussion with Founder and CEO of Grab Games and USC Professor
Moderator: Ms Etta Wong, Director USC Hong Kong, Office of Strategic and Global Initiatives, University of Southern California
Speaker: Prof Anthony Borquez, Assistant Professor, Clinical Entrepreneurship, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California
Global Exchange: Emerging Esports Ecosystems
What role does Hong Kong Esports play in the regional and international Esports ecosystem? What are the ways that government, higher-education, and industry cultivate a thriving Esports ecosystem?
Moderator: Mr Timothy Shen, Founder & CEO of Yes! E-Sports Asia Holdings Limited (“YEAH”)
Dr Anand Bhojan, Senior Lecturer, School of Computing, National University of Singapore
Prof Peichi Chung, Associate Professor, Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Mr Sean Heng Shao Jie, Student, President of NUS E-Gaming (NUSEG), National University of Singapore
Mr Terry Tsang, CEO and Founder of Madhead
Promoting Equity in Esports, Without Creating Barriers
The allure of competitive sponsorship packages and massive fan bases draws in talented Esports athletes globally but unfortunately, these benefits are not enjoyed by all players. The oftentimes cruel disparities in the treatment of women and minority players regularly sparks debate among leaders in media and academia critical of the lack of female and minority players at the top levels. This panel offers strategies and policies for the ecosystem to consider, to create more inclusive and diverse culture for gamers worldwide.
Moderator: Mr Jim Huntley, Professor, USC Games Program, Faculty Advisor for USC Trojan Esports, University of Southern California
Prof Jon Festinger, Q.C., Peter A. Allard School of Law, The University of British Columbia
Ms Cathy Ge, Student, Director of UCLA Esports, University of California, Los Angeles
Ms Nessa Harrison, Student, VP External Relations of UBC Esports Association, The University of British Columbia
Mr Joe Jacko, Esports Coach, University of Southern California
Mr Liam Slack, Esports Manager, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc.
Ms Ariana Yeo, Student, Vice President of the NTU Esports Society, Nanyang Technological University
The views, information, or opinions expressed during the APRU MeteGame Conference are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Association of Pacific University (“APRU”) and its employees. APRU is not responsible and does not verify for accuracy any of the information contained in the series.
APRU Esports Fellowship Program 3rd Cohort provides ample food for thought on well-being, networking, and universities’ future role
The last session of APRU Esports Fellowship Program 3rd Cohort took place on July 28, marking one month of experts and students successfully engaging in next-generation learning experiences and supporting the growth of healthy and vibrant Esports communities.
Led by Tecnológico de Monterrey, the 3rd Cohort recorded 37 participants from 12 APRU member universities and nine different economies. Each APRU member was invited to nominate five undergraduate students to create an immediate and lasting impact on student communities, while also cultivating an alumni network that is accretive to both the fellowship and APRU Esports participating universities.
The first session of the Fellowship focused on “Well-being in Esports”. Carlos Ordóñez, National AVP, Student Wellbeing at Tec de Monterrey, shared his recent research findings on stressors and coping strategies. According to Mr. Ordóñez, one of the main issues is that some Esports team members are not taking practice as seriously as others. Another challenge is maintaining a good life balance when working towards a professional Esports career.
“Not getting enough sleep is a problem that we see in terms of well-being all over the world, and we also see that gamers who work towards a professional career struggle with coping with social media criticism,” Mr. Ordóñez said.
Mr Ordóñez during his presentation
“Coping strategies range from spending a few minutes in the garden to a cognitive reevaluation of a situation to reduce its perceived importance,” he added.
Dr. Ramón Flores, Doctor of Chiropractic, shared insights on common health risks associated with Esports. Dr. Flores explained that although the spinal column constitutes the continuation of the brain, gamers often neglect the importance of the spinal column’s health.
The program’s second session was themed “Networking with Esports Companies”. Terence Leung, Senior Manager, Digital Entertainment, Cyberport, introduced Cyberport’s cluster of digital companies, including several game developers and art creators, with Mr. Leung’s team supporting the entire ecosystem from the upstream to the downstream companies.
Charles Fauchet, co-founder of KIX Esports, a Macao-based entrepreneur of Esports, shared his entrepreneurial journey and how KIX came into being by organizing a tournament with the University of Macau in 2017.
“Whereas developing a game requires a lot of funds, creating Esports teams and tournaments was a feasible way of helping Macao’s diversification strategy,” Mr. Fauchet said.
In the final session under the theme “The Future of Esports in the Universities; Academic Options and Scholarships,” panelists shared their perspectives on the development of Esports in their respective universities and locations. Glen Tokola, Esports Manager of the University of Washington, explained how the university’s Esports program now caters to approximately 3,000 active gamers.
“It was a three-year window, which is an incredibly fast time for any given program within the University of Washington to occur, showing that there was enough of a vision and support from leadership.” Mr. Tokola said.
Dr. Yupei Zhao, Professor, Media and International Culture at Zhejiang University, shared insights about Esports development in China. Dr. Zhao pointed out that this year is a big year for Esports in Zhejiang Province because Esports will be included in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou in September-October.
Finally, Jennifer Seto, Esports Program Manager of Simon Fraser University, explained the state of play for Esports in Canada. Ms. Seto pointed out that although the US constitutes a larger market, Canada has many standout schools that are competing at the top internationally.
The online sessions of the fellowship had an interactive part via breakout rooms, where students had the opportunity to get to know each other, engage, debate, and learn about the development and status of Esports on their campuses.
Fellowship participants during one of the sessions
The overall feedback collected after the fellowship was very positive, with the program exciding the expectations of the majority of the participants and with the participants sharing their appreciation for these kinds of activities:
“What I’ve learned from this Fellowship is that there’s a lot more Esports out there around the world. It was such a great opportunity for me to connect with people not only in the US but internationally such as Mexico, Hong Kong, Singapore. That is probably one of the coolest things I have been a part of…”
Garret Lau, University of Hawai’i at West Oahu
The APRU Esports Fellowship Program 3rd Cohort concluded with the submission, by each participating university, of a final project. This project was the creation of a video showcasing the establishment, development, and impact of Esports on their campus.
Congratulations to the winners of the APRU Digital Art Contest, “Level-Up Our World”
Doctor of Dental Medicine
University of the Philippines Manila
Keaton Chan Ka Han,
University of Melbourne
“NETSLINGER HIRO CUSTOM”
University of Hawai’i at Mānoa
Congratulations to the winners of the APRU Digital Art Contest, “Level-Up Our World.”
Students across the Asia Pacific submitted their original artwork which features the ability for digital arts to positively influence the gaming industry. Students were asked to submit their original artwork of cast of characters or game bosses which reflect students’ visions to shape an equitable, sustainable, and inclusive world.
With 2.7 billion people playing games globally, the gaming sector has the potential to cut across geography and generations for the good of society. Games that have introduced new and diverse characters in the gameplay and feature scenic dystopian landscapes have reached mainstream popularity and raise the need to be more inclusive and sustainable.
We thank the partners including: Moon Lab, a blockchain-based startup that specializes in making mass adoption of blockchain technology possible, Cyberport Hong Kong and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology for their support of the students and this contest.
We thank all the students for their participation in this competition and we look forward to a more inclusive and sustainable esports industry landscape of the future.
For more information about the design contest, please visit here.
APRU MetaGame Conference 2022 Successfully Concludes in Hong Kong With Academics Pushing New Ideas on the Application of Esports in Education
HONG KONG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Live-streamed from Hong Kong, the 3rd APRU MetaGame Conference concluded on 27 August, 2022 to a resounding success, during which academics and industry experts discussed policies, challenges and opportunities on the development of esports in higher education. Hosted by Cyberport and in partnership with The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), APRU MetaGame Conference 2022 brought together leading scholars and industry experts from the Asia-Pacific region, and were joined by over 2,000 participants from over 30 countries and regions.
This year’s Conference focused on three themes: “Edutainment: Education, Gamification, and the Metaverse”, “Elite Collegiate Esports”, and the “Gamification of Social Well-being”. It kicked off with a keynote speech by Professor Yang Wang, Vice-President for Institutional Advancement at HKUST and APRU Senior International Leader, who shared insights on the power of edutainment and the latest trends in the integration of esports and the metaverse into education.
Panel discussions between academics and industry experts were also held, during which they exchanged ideas on the opportunities and challenges that esports, web3, blockchain, artificial intelligence and other new technologies will bring to the higher education sector. Participating scholars also urged universities to take the lead in adopting new thinking, teaching and learning methodologies.
Professor Yang Wang said, “With the advent of the metaverse and blockchain technologies, the higher education landscape as we know it will be rewritten completely. This will bring new opportunities and challenges for scholars, students, creators and universities, unlocking the next level of interaction and engagement in universities.”
Professor Pan Hui, Director of the Center for Metaverse and Computational Creativity (MC2) at HKUST, and Chair Professor of Computational Media and Arts at HKUST (Guangzhou) said during a panel discussion, “While the research community is still exploring the full potential of edutainment, data shows that new technological tools such as mobile devices, wearables, and extended-reality classrooms can vastly enhance the learning experience of students through gamification, as they blend physical and virtual objects to create a world rich in ‘surreality’, creating playful educational experiences.”
As a network of 60 leading research universities from the Pacific Rim, APRU is committed to developing esports and other new technologies into educational medium for students and researchers, as well as a sustainable and safely governed industry that will improve career trajectories for all across borders.
The APRU MetaGame Conference 2022 therefore provided the perfect platform for global thought leaders to discuss the development of future policies and application of esports in education.
Kathy Chiang, Vice President, Board of Directors, Voice of Intercollegiate Esports, said in a panel discussion, “People are starting to see the games and esports industry as a very significant portion of what new tech – and its investment – is going into. It is such a vast industry that a variety of new jobs for graduates will be created, such as game programmers, sound artists and designers. What’s even more interesting is that the growth of this industry also promotes physical and mental health, and increases collegiate scholarship pathways.”
In addition to the panel discussions, students actively engaged in the Conference at the APRU Rampage Invitational esports tournament featuring top teams of the Asia Pacific on PLANET9, the preferred esports platform, and the Digital Art Design Competition sponsored by Moon Lab. Six finalist teams from North America, Asia and Latin America faced off virtually, and presented their original game ideas on a sustainable and inclusive world, each also reflecting their respective culture.
Eric Chan, Chief Public Mission Officer of Cyberport, says, “Talents are the pillars of every industry development. Cyberport is delighted to work with APRU for the third time to launch the APRU Esports Fellowship Program, which enables Pacific Rim student leaders who are passionate about esports, to participate in learning, internship, and entrepreneurial opportunities to prepare them for becoming future leaders, and ultimately contributing to the thriving and evolving esports ecosystem worldwide.”
“The APRU tournament was a great way to start the semester and a really fun event with the team,” said Tate Tamaye, 2nd year student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa who participated in the tournament. “The tourney allowed us to play against teams that I haven’t played against before, which made it very interesting. I hope that in the future, they will be able to invite more teams, and have a larger tournament.”
For more information on APRU’s esports initiatives, please visit: www.apru.org/our-work/student-leadership/esports/
Director, Communications, APRU
Email: [email protected]
Congratulations to the winners of the APRU Rampage Invitational Tournament
Congratulations to the winners of the APRU Rampage Invitational Tournament.
Revisit the tournament finals on YouTube:
Students in the Asia Pacific Rim to participate in the Rampage Invitational Tournament to build community and connectivity through competition. In a 5v5 Valorant title, students were inspired to connect and support for one another.
APRU Rampage Invitational Tournament gave students an opportunity to build community across borders and universities to participate in competitive and exclusive tournament series.
We thank the partners including: adidas, Planet9, a global esports community platform for gamers and launched by Acer in early 2020, Cyberport Hong Kong and Nexten for their support of the students and this tournament.
We thank all the 70 students, 14 teams, from 8 universities for their participation in this tournament and we look forward to providing more opportunities for working together across borders.
Asia region: Puffy Gang from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Latin America region: eSports Uchile from Universidad de Chile, Chile
North America region: UHEsports from University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, USA
List of Students from Winner Teams
1st Place of Asia:
Nanyang Technological University
Tan Wei Ang
Lee Keat Wee
2nd Place of Asia:
Hong Kong SAR
1st Place of Latin America:
Universidad de Chile
Nicolás Alexander Figueroa Tangol
Alexis Miguel Garcia Valdés
Pedro Antonio Quevedo Villalobos
Alfredo Alejandro Castillo Gutiérrez
Clemente Ignacio Pizarro Schwerter
Jorge Alexsander de beró Droguett Vargas
2nd Place of Latin America:
Tecnológico de Monterrey
Jaime Yael Carillo Bejar
Pedro Mariscal Parrilla
Carlo Eduardo Renteria Toussaint
Jorge David Limón Otañez
Eric Oswaldo Valencia de los Cobos
Santiago Mercado Acosta
1st of North America:
University of Hawai’i at Mānoa
2nd of North America:
The University of British Columbia
For more information about the tournament, please visit the event webpage.
APRU Brings Universities into the World of Esports with MetaGame Conference 2022
HONG KONG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The 3rd APRU MetaGame Conference is set to be live-streamed on 27 August, 2022 HKT (26 August, 2022 PDT) in partnership with The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and hosted by Cyberport Hong Kong. During the annual conference, scholars and industry leaders will examine the ways that international esports leaders can further their scope within universities, shape digital skills development, and the career pathways for students.
As one of the biggest virtual education conferences and a spotlight event of Hong Kong Cyberport’s Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum (DELF), the APRU MetaGame Conference 2022 will incorporate the full ecosystem of esports, including high-level policy discussions, expert insights, next-generation learning, student competition, and gaming.
APRU has in recent years orchestrated the effort in bringing esports, a new form of edutainment and an integral part of the metaverse, to its university network. Top academics, esports policymakers, researchers, and students from North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region are expected to join this all-virtual conference, marking a new milestone for the event, which was first introduced in 2020.
Dr. Christopher Tremewan, Secretary General of APRU said, “We believe universities have much to gain by supporting esports as part of their education and research agenda. Together with our network’s 60 universities and industry experts, we aim to contribute to building the esports ecosystem around the Asia-Pacific region. We are committed to developing a sustainable industry with a strong career trajectory which connects students, researchers and administrators across international borders. We intend this innovative technology and its social impacts will empower researchers and students to work with each other on solutions to global challenges for the common good.”
Peter Yan, CEO of Hong Kong Cyberport, said, “As the flagship for Hong Kong’s digital innovation, Cyberport is excited to join hands with APRU for the third consecutive year to offer the perfect platform for co-creating digital entertainment and esports in the Web 3.0 era. Riding on the success of our previous collaborations, including two rounds of APRU Esports Fellowship Program, APRU Global Tournament and APRU Student Esports Paper Competition, the APRU MetaGame Conference will foster the application of new technologies, and the cultivation of talent in universities and the higher education sector, bringing continuous impetus to the digital entertainment ecosystem.”
Professor Yang Wang, APRU Senior International Leader and Vice-President for Institutional Advancement at HKUST said, “With the advent of the metaverse and blockchain technologies, the higher education landscape as we know it will be rewritten completely. This will bring new opportunities and challenges for scholars, students, creators and universities, unlocking the next level of interaction and engagement in universities.”
The event will kick off with a keynote address on edutainment and the metaverse by Professor Yang Wang, and feature three panel discussions among scholars on edutainment, collegiate esports, and the gamification of social well-being, in which challenges, opportunities, and future policies will be discussed.
Insightful findings will also be presented at the conference, followed by the announcement of a student showcase on digital art and original game ideas supported by Moon Lab, a blockchain-based startup that specializes in making mass adoption of blockchain technology possible. In addition, top Esports teams from the Asia Pacific region will face off in a Valorant tournament powered by PLANET9, the designated tournament platform.
Nanyang Technological University
Tecnológico de Monterrey
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
University of Southern California
Date and Time:
August 26 from 6PM (Los Angeles/Vancouver)
August 27 from 9AM (Hong Kong/Singapore)
For more information, please visit:
Registration (free admission):
Director, Communications, APRU
Email: [email protected]
Graduation Ceremony and Final Presentations of Esports Fellowship Program 2nd Cohort leaves participants in awe
The successful completion of the Esports Fellowship Program 2nd Cohort was marked in late-June with final presentations and a graduation ceremony that left a deep impression on participating students, educators, and professionals.
Led by Tecnológico de Monterrey in partnership with Cyberport, the APRU Esports Fellowship Program is an international network of student leaders engaged in next-generation learning experiences that support the growth of healthy, vibrant Esports communities.
The Esports Fellowship Program 2nd Cohort was comprised of six monthly workshops from January-June 2022. Workshops were student led and ranged in topic from Marketing, Promoting, Sponsorship, and Broadcasting / Streaming, to Game Design.
“Cooperation has been so visible and so amazing, with such as level of commitment and professionalism,” said Pille Kustala, Professor for International Business at Tecnológico de Monterrey, in her graduation address. “I have no doubt that all of the student participants will have a great future in professional esporting,” she added.
Christopher Tremewan, Secretary General of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU, congratulated students on their deepening leadership in their universities and across the region.
“And we find that you, the students, are already leading as innovators and gamechangers in creating the esports ecosystem. We thank you for sharing your insights on the ecosystem in this program with your peers from around the world. We hope this leads you to understand the ecosystem broadly and the many social implications and its potential use for social health, problem-solving global challenges, and diversity and educational pathways to other careers. APRU is privileged to have Tec de Monterrey, Mexico as the host for this fellowship program, with it’s global reputation in pedagogical leadership and educational technology we are able to make significant strides.,” Tremewan .
Paula Cánepa, International Business Development Director at Spain’s Esports league LVP – Liga de Videojuegos Profesional, shared her impressions when witnessing the students being proud of their projects and investing a great deal of commitment.
“For us from the industry, this is exactly what is needed, so please keep going,” Cánepa said.
Mark Candella, Director of Student & Education Programs at Twitch Student program, which fosters sustainability and increase professionalism in Esports, was also visibly impressed by the success of the Esports Fellowship Program2nd Cohort.
“I am humbled, I am inspired, and I have goosebumps thinking about the beautiful future that educators, students and educational institutions are creating,” Candella said.
“And this is not just feeding into Esports but into the many different industries that are upgraded through tapping into creative content developed by the Esports sector,” he added.
Cyberport, owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government, is an innovative digital community with over 1,500 start-ups and technology companies.
Participating Universities were:
Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), Vladivostok, Russia
Keio University, Tokyo, Japan
National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore
Tecnológico de Monterrey, Monterrey (TEC), Mexico
University of British Colombia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, United States
Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Honolulu, United States
University of Washington (UW), Seattle, United States
Zhejiang University (ZJU), Zhejiang, China
For more information about APRU Esports Program, please visit here.
For more information about APRU Esports Fellowship Program 2nd Cohort, please visit here.
Congratulations to the winners of the APRU Student Esports Paper Competition
Congratulations to the winners of the APRU Student Esports Paper Competition, please see their names, entries, and video presentations below.
The APRU Student Esports Paper Competition welcomed papers from undergraduate students across the Asia Pacific Region in three categories, Business Models for the Esports Industry, Esports for Social Good and Health/Wellness in Esports.
The purpose of the paper competition was to support Esports as an academic area of study. We encouraged students to have innovative and quality research in the Esports field, as well as, promote the long-term investment of Esports research which will enrich students’ and universities’ resources and knowledge sources in an emerging field.
Winning students have won a $3,000 USD Scholarship and the runner-up in each category has won a $1,000 USD Scholarship as well as being published in a special edition of the International Journal of Esports.
We thank Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited for their support of the competition and look forward to enriching students’ experiences in esports now and in the future.
Please find the special issue available at:
Papers were presented at the APRU Metagame Conference 2021 on the second day of the DELF (Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum). Winners were chosen by a panel of judges and a live audience vote. Our deepest gratitude goes to the judges for their contributions to the development of this competition for giving their time to review papers.Winners were chosen by our panel of judges and a live audience vote. Our deepest gratitude goes to the judges for their contributions to the development of this competition for giving their time to review papers.
Mr Tom Dore, Head of Education, British Esports Association
Mr Terence Leung, Senior Manager (Esports and Youth Team), Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited
Mr Timothy Shen, Founder and Investor, Yesports Media Limited
Dr Aaron Koshy, Chief Editor, International Journal of Esports
Mr Sherman Cheng, APRU Secretariat
Business Models for the Esports Industry
Title: Paving the Road: Exploring Esports Models and Marketing Opportunities in University
Student: Zachary McKay
University: The University of British Columbia (CANADA)
Title: Two Islands in the Pacific
Student: Reyn Seki
University: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (USA)
Esports for Social Good
Title: Esport’s Legacy of Social Good
Student: Kaden MacKay
University: The University of British Columbia (CANADA)
Title: Women’s experience of sexism and objectification in the eSports and gaming community
Student: Gabdulkhaeva Leysan, Suprun Elizaveta, Malenkova Elizaveta
University: Far Eastern Federal University (RUSSIA)
Health/Wellness in Esports
Title: The Psychological Impacts of eSports Gaming: A Detriment or a Lifeline in Disguise?
Student: Rosarita Ridhwan De Cruz
University: National University of Singapore (SINGAPORE)
Title: E-Sports: Motivations and Life Goals
Student: Liaw Yan Xin, Seah Kia Luck, Mah Kim Chuan, James
University: National University of Singapore (SINGAPORE)
More information about the competition at here
Revisit the student paper competition presentation on YouTube:
UBC News: 2 UBC Esports undergrads win industry research scholarships
Original post on UBC News
Gamers often get a bad rap. Critics argue that online gaming is a time waster, exclusionary and male-dominated, even leading to aggression and addiction. In practice, though, virtual games and tournaments connect people across the globe over shared interests, says Zachary McKay, Co-President of UBC Esports Association, an initiative and club. With the motto “where gamers meet UBC,” it is the university’s largest club with nearly 4,000 members, compared to others which average in the hundreds or dozens.
UBC Esports aims to build a community of students with no borders, and engage with colleagues and peers worldwide through online video game competitions, social events, tournaments, celebrity meet-ups and their crown jewel, the Legion Lounge where students can play games on campus. Not only does the club want to reverse negative perceptions and attract new people from all walks of life, it is investing in its student members. Case in point: the club and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) recently awarded scholarships to two UBC students through a research paper competition.
The Legion Lounge is the crown jewel of the UBC Esports Association and a place for members of the UBC community to connect and play games on campus (video: UBC Esports Association)
“The competition is about supporting Esports as an academic area of study, and encouraging students to have innovative and quality research in the field, as well as promote long-term investment in Esports research to enrich students’ and universities’ resources in an emerging field,” says Matthew Tan, UBC Athletics and Recreation Associate Director of Partnerships, and Senator at UBC Vancouver Senate and UBC Council of Senates. Tan collaborates regularly with UBC Esports.
At the 2021 APRU Student Esports Paper Competition and Awards, McKay came in first for his piece on Business Models for the Esports Industry, taking home a USD $3,000 scholarship. He is in a fifth and final year at UBC, earning a philosophy degree with a minor in creative writing.
Another undergraduate, Kaden MacKay, also won USD $3,000 for first place in the category Esports for Social Good, “writing about different countries and cultures,” MacKay says. “For example, Pakistan winning the biggest tournament ever held: these success stories show that you can’t judge anyone as an Esports player by where they come from – it’s just so diverse.” A club finance executive, MacKay is in year two at UBC, focusing on cognitive systems.
Both winning papers will be published in the International Journal of Esports. The students plan to use the scholarship money to pay for university tuition and, because he is in his last term, McKay will use $1,000 of his winnings to establish the first UBC Esports leadership award.
UBC Esports is a non-profit, volunteer, student-led organization under the UBC Alma Mater Society umbrella. The club runs as seamlessly as a well-oiled corporate enterprise. And anyone who thinks gamers might be lacking in smarts and motivation need only listen to McKay detail the start-up structure model, workings of its HR department and foundational principles in a manner far more articulate than many CEOs twice his age. Founded 11 years ago, today UBC Esports is internationally recognized – and popular. More than 1,000 entrants have signed up so far for June’s upcoming Smash Tournament “Battle of BC 4,” for example.
Club executives of the UBC Esports Association, led by Co-Presidents Zach McKay and Branson Chan, at the UBC Esports Icebreaker event held in person (photo: UBC Esports Association, October 2021)
Members can get involved as much, or as little, as they like, McKay says. The action ranges from laidback and leisurely to competitive tournaments in a high-stakes environment, and no prior experience is necessary. The only agenda is getting people excited about and enjoying video games, trying new things and making friends, he says. Some of the most popular games include League of Legends, Valorant and Super Smash Brothers.
“We are incredibly approachable,” McKay says. “For myself, I’m not very good at games. I do it for the fun of it. What motivates me is that I’ve been able to make lifelong friendships with people through the club. Our community is really vibrant and the social aspect is a unifying feature.”
Busting misconceptions is also part of the club mandate, in particular, leading by example to be diverse, secure and inclusive. Half of the club’s several vice presidents were women in 2021. UBC Esports hosts a women’s night for female-only competitions and boasts a team culture that prioritizes a safe atmosphere for women and marginalized communities. The association also puts on professional development workshops centered on Esports with the goal of preparing students for careers in the video game industry. Topics cover everything from partnerships, project management and event logistics to human resources and graphic design.
Prospective students learn more about the UBC Esports Association at their booth on Clubs Day (photo: UBC Esports Association, 2021)
APRU decided to get involved when UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Santa Ono first flagged the opportunity back in 2018. Noting the almost 3 billion gamers worldwide, and 2.5 million college and university students likely involved in esports in APRU alone, President Ono voiced his support for UBC to get involved. UBC then became one of 11 founding partners in the APRU Esports Fellowship Initiative, which brought in consultants to advise on what universities could do collectively and individually. An international Esports fellowship and greater support for the club topped the list of recommendations. Along with UBC, founding members of the initiative are Far Eastern Federal University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Keio University, Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, Tecnológico de Monterrey, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Southern California, University of Washington and Yonsei University.
And the movement is growing. Connecting with others from all over the map is at the core, says MacKay. “How rare is it to talk to someone in Chile and Australia at the same time?” he says. “It’s usually very country- or continent-specific, so it’s so cool to do this globally. Everyone who does this is very passionate about what they think Esports can be – and it’s about sharing ideas across the world.”
Find out more about the UBC Esports club.
Read more about the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU).
Read the winning APRU Esports research papers.
See the recent Ubyssey feature story on UBC Esports.
Original post on HKMB
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” wrote William Shakespeare in As You Like It. Substitute “screen” for stage and that quote remains as apt four centuries after the play’s first performance.
The interplay between performance and reality was on global display at the Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum (DELF) hosted by Cyberport in Hong Kong in December. Appropriately for the digital 21st century, the physical show was held in parallel in three centres, with simultaneous events in Hong Kong as well as Los Angeles in California and Vancouver, Canada.
Play to learn
Organised by APRU (the Association of Pacific Rim Universities), which brings together tertiary education institutions in technology hotspots such as California and Hong Kong, Metagame Conference 2021 emphasised how electronic games and e-sports are boosting education and playing a growing role in solving real-world issues such as emissions-reduction and conservation.
“We are all getting used to new ways of communicating in the metaverse,” Sherman Cheng, APRU CFO said, explaining the three-cities format. “We have virtual conferences, meetings and tournaments in the morning, afternoon and evening, with people around the world. In the APRU Senior International Leaders’ Week held in October, we worked with the University of Sydney to create a spatial chat space for networking at the end of each day.”
APRU has three members in Hong Kong – the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), University of Hong Kong (HKU) and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). “Hong Kong being an education centre was definitely one of the key factors for APRU in deciding on the location for our second MetaGame Conference,” Mr Cheng said. “Our first one last year was also in Hong Kong. But more importantly, as a strategic partner of Cyberport and having APRU’s International University Centre opened here in 2021, APRU wants to support and work with Cyberport to create greater impact.”
Mr Cheng explained that many universities have incorporated games into their learning – known as gamification – as well as offering courses in games production.
“USC Games at the University of Southern California – an APRU member – has one of North America’s top games undergraduate programmes and is paying homage to gaming trailblazer Gerald ‘Jerry’ Lawson by establishing an academic endowment in his name. Lawson was a Black engineer who led the design of one of the earliest game consoles.”
Giving an example of using games for the greater good, Mr Cheng pointed to the University of Washington (an APRU member in Seattle), which is participating in the Campus Conservation Nationals, a competition to conserve energy and water on campus. “The competition is part of a gamification trend – using game mechanics to engage people to achieve non-game goals. [The university] views it as education outside the classroom, a catalyst that will change how students think about their lifestyles.”
Giving an example from Asia, he referenced the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine of the National University of Singapore (also an APRU member), which has created an innovation called HEALING, or Health Economics Awareness LearnING, a technology-enhanced simulation game that educates medical students on the importance of healthcare economics.
“The main pedagogy in this game utilises information and knowledge in healthcare spending, including the cost of investigations and treatments as well as methods of financing hospital bills, to train players on what constitutes optimal cost-efficient clinical care to patients,” Mr Cheng said. “Through this learning tool, learners are exposed to diverse clinical scenarios involving patients of various demographic profiles which require their decision-making on the ordering of investigations and management procedures.”
Turning to Hong Kong, he said: “HKU’s Department of Computer Science offers a course on Computer Game Design and Programming. This course introduces the concepts and techniques for computer game design and development. Topics include game history and genres, game design process, game engine, audio and visual design, 2D and 3D graphics, physics, optimisation, camera, network, artificial intelligence and user interface design. Students participate in group projects to gain hands-on experience in using common game engines in the market.”
Other examples include CUHK’s Computer Game Development and Video Game and Play Culture courses. Such courses in computer game development touch on many facets of computer science, including computer graphics, artificial intelligence, algorithms, networking, human-computer interaction, music and sound, allowing students to get a hands-on experience in designing and implementing real-world computer games. HKUST offers a similar computer game development course.
Mr Cheng said that the Playing for the Planet Alliance, facilitated by UNEP – the United Nations Environment Programme – is a good example of how business and industry can support conservation and wildlife protection through game design.
“The Playing for the Planet Alliance was launched during the Climate Summit at the UN Headquarters in New York. In total, the members of the alliance (including the biggest gaming companies) have the ability to reach more than 1 billion video game players. In joining the alliance, members have made commitments ranging from integrating green activations in games, reducing their emissions, and supporting the global environmental agenda through initiatives ranging from planting millions of trees to reducing plastic in their products.
“Our speaker at the APRU MetaGame Conference, Sam Barrett, Chief of Youth, Education and Advocacy Unit, Ecosystems Division, with UNEP, founded the Playing for the Planet Alliance as a collaboration with the video gaming industry to nudge gamers’ behaviour and push the industry to use cleaner energy.”
APRU Esports Fellowship Program Welcomes the 2nd Cohort of Student Leaders
The APRU Esports Fellowship Program completed the orientation session for its 2nd Cohort on January 22, readying participants for the cohort’s first workshop in March.
Led by Tecnológico de Monterrey and in partnership with Cyberport, the APRU Esports Fellowship Program is an international network of student leaders engaged in next-generation learning experiences that support the growth of healthy, vibrant Esports communities. The program places students in internships and jobs and cultivates an alumni network that is accretive to both the fellowship and APRU Esports participating universities.
Cyberport, owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government, is an innovative digital community with over 1,500 start-ups and technology companies.
“Whereas the program’s 1st Cohort involved seven universities and 38 students, the 2nd Cohort is today welcoming eleven universities and 69 students, reflecting that universities and people are keen to come aboard,” said Pille Kustala, Director of International Business at Tecnológico de Monterrey.
“Having completed six workshops and five capsule projects during the 1st Cohort, students have become familiar with each other and everybody is excitedly anticipating the 2nd Cohort,” she added.
Terence Leung, Senior Manager of Esports and Youth Team of Cyberport, pointed out that Cyberport and APRU have since 2020 been cooperating to promote the esports industries to students and nurture talents. Leung noted that Cyperport and APRU have jointly conducted two metagame conferences, APRU’s 1st global esports tournament, an esports paper award as well as the APRU Esports Fellowship Program.
“Although Hong Kong is relatively new to esports development, we have many advantages, such as good infrastructure and experience in hosting largescale events, and the Hong Kong government has identified esports as an economic sector with good growth potential,” Leung said.
“We are very confident that our joint efforts can maximize impact in fostering this promising industry together,” he added.
Motohiro Tsuchiya, a professor of Graduate School of Media and Governance at Keio University in Japan and Deputy Director at Keio University Global Research Institute (KGRI), shared that although he is not an esports player, he clearly sees the need to make students familiar with the industry.
“Japan is game-friendly country, as reflected by the esports population keeping growing despite the overall population declining every single day,” Tsuchiya said.
The Fellowship Program’s 2nd Cohort features student-led workshops on topics such as, marketing, promoting and sponsorship, broadcasting, streaming, and game design. It features informal networking sessions to support students in developing an international network of next generation leaders. The program will also bring in esports experts and leaders to share their experiences in the industry and provide their expertise. Finally, the program will also feature a tournament to further university esports clubs’ international recognition.
The 2nd Cohort’s Graduation Ceremony and Final Presentations are scheduled for June.
More information about APRU Esports Fellowship Program 2nd Cohort at here.
UH News: Esports fellowship creates global opportunities for UH students
Written by Marc Arakaki
Original post on University of Hawai’i News
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa esports has solidified its standing as one of the top 10 university esports programs in the nation. Now, five students have been chosen for an international fellowship, which will bring more experience and knowledge back to the program.
The Association of Pacific Rim Universities is a consortium of 61 universities across the Pacific region, including North America, Asia, Oceania and South America. The second cohort of its esports fellowship program will bring together dozens of students from its member institutions to discuss, share and collaborate on growing opportunities in the esports industry, with a special focus on the Asia region.
Students were selected based on a nomination process by their advisors. They will attend monthly meetings virtually with other participants throughout the spring semester.
“I’m most looking forward to getting a more global perspective on esports,” said UH Mānoa student Kwan Ho Cheung. “I think my current perspective is all about franchising and less so about what goes on behind the scenes of an esports broadcast, and all the intricate parts required to pull off some of the international events, the pinnacle of esports.”
Lana Kawauchi added, “This is such an amazing opportunity and unlike anything I have ever participated in before. I’m looking forward to networking with students from all across Asia and working with them to create healthy environments in the esports community. I’m also looking forward to being placed in jobs and internships with companies that will help us achieve these goals.”
The other UH Mānoa participants are Kelsy Padilla, Alohi Tolentino and Micah Tossey.
“The fellowship will provide the selected students with an understanding of how the esports industry in Asia (Hong Kong, Japan and Korea) works, with educational, networking, business and internship opportunities. I am excited by the development of the academic and curricular component of our esports program at UH Mānoa,” said Nyle Sky Kauweloa—a communication and information sciences PhD student, head of the UH Mānoa Esports Task Force in the College of Social Sciences and instructor.
UH’s position within the Asia esports market is crucial as the State of Hawaiʻi is in a prime location that bridges the East and West. One of the reasons why UH was selected as a host site for the Overwatch League’s summer tournaments, playoffs and grand finals was to improve the online latency difference as teams from North America and Asia competed virtually head-to-head in real-time.
Visit the UH esports team’s Twitter and Discord pages. More stories on UH’s esports program.
This program is an example of UH Mānoa’s goal of Enhancing Student Success (PDF), one of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.
More info about APRU Esports Fellowship Program 2nd Cohort
APRU Metagame Conference 2021 Returns at Cyberport’s Annual Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum
HONG KONG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In partnership with Cyberport, the 2nd Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Metagame Conference will take place within a broader convening titled the Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum (DELF) hosted at Cyberport in Hong Kong, December 10-12, 2021 in hybrid format (virtual and in-person). Focusing on Hong Kong as an emerging esports leader in the region, leading scholars and industry professionals will gather to examine how this captivating industry can further its scope within universities and society from esports as digital entertainment to developing career pathways for students in the esports ecosystem.
“The skills that are learned in esports can be applied to any industry. Students are learning how to work effectively in diverse teams, across geographies, how to lead and communicate. Courses relating to esports can be multidisciplinary, across the creative arts, business, computer science and engineering, social sciences, law, neuroscience and many more,” said Dr. Christopher Tremewan, Secretary General of APRU. “APRU connects universities and students across the Pacific Rim through international esports coordination. As an international network, we aim to develop a comprehensive esports platform for APRU member universities to help students develop their skills through fellowship programs, student competitions, tournaments, equity initiatives, career development, and more.” The panel is also expected to touch upon opportunities for esports regarding metaverse, blockchain, digital arts and other emerging technologies.
Mr. Peter Yan, CEO of Cyberport, said, “Talent cultivation is one of the three strategic pillars of Cyberport. Our partnership with APRU has allowed us to explore ways to cultivate leaders of tomorrow through the lens of esports and the expansive value chain within this growing industry. With the 2nd APRU Metagame Conference as part of the flagship DELF event, the recent establishment of the APRU International University Centre at Cyberport, and several collaborations in the works, we look forward to further coupling APRU’s international network of universities with the flourishing digital entertainment community at Cyberport to help young talents hone their skills and delve into an exciting career in esports.”
The conference will also shed light on how gaming as digital entertainment can play a leading role in solving environmental challenges such as wildlife conservation, decarbonization, and even diversity and inclusion. The discussions will feature case studies from universities and experts, including a keynote address from Mr. Sam Barratt, Chief of Youth, Education and Advocacy Unit, Ecosystems Division, The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). “We want to inspire the gaming industry to think about what role they can play in tackling both the climate and nature crises,” said Sam Barratt.“Gaming is the most powerful entertainment medium in the world reaching some 2.7 billion globally, reaching across all geographies and generations. The awe of landscapes has always been a big part of the back-drop of gaming. Now we want to bring these issues into the foreground for gamers and the industry so that combined, their efforts are harnessed for the good of the environment.”
More interesting findings will be offered at the conference along with the signature League of Legends Wild Rift show match to officially kick off the regional tournaments in North America and Asia Pacific with Nexten Esports.
To learn more about the future of esports and the opportunities it presents, register today at www.apru.org/event/apru-metagame-conference-2021
As a network of 61 leading universities linking the Americas, Asia and Australasia, APRU (the Association of Pacific Rim Universities) brings together thought leaders, researchers, and policy-makers to exchange ideas and collaborate on effective solutions to the challenges of the 21st century. We leverage collective education and research capabilities of our members into the international public policy process. In the post-pandemic era, our strategic priorities focus on providing a neutral platform for high-level policy dialogue, taking actions on climate change, and supporting diversity, inclusion, and minorities. APRU’s primary activities support these strategic priorities with a focus on key areas such as disaster risk reduction, women in leadership, indigenous knowledge, virtual student exchange, esports, population aging, global health, sustainable cities, artificial intelligence, waste management and more.
For more information, please visit www.apru.org
Cyberport is an innovative digital community with around 800 on-site start-ups and technology companies. It is managed by Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, wholly owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government. With a vision to be the hub for digital technology, thereby creating a new economic driver for Hong Kong, Cyberport is committed to nurturing a vibrant tech ecosystem by cultivating talent, promoting entrepreneurship among youth, supporting start-ups, fostering industry development by promoting strategic collaboration with local and international partners, and integrating new and traditional economies by accelerating digital transformation in public and private sectors.
For more information, please visit www.cyberport.hk
Jack Ng, Director, Communications, APRU
Diane Chow, Associate Account Director, Gusto Luxe
Esports Webinar Series by YESPORTS and APRU helps exploring career opportunities
Global esports career development platform YESPORTS and APRU recently convened five Asia Pacific Esports leaders in webinar series to empower students, administrators, and university leaders to make the most informed decisions about participation in Esports and assist in exploring students’ career opportunities for the future.
On the 3-session agenda held July 7-28 were Career Plan For Young Gamers; Esports Player Contracts: Common Clauses And Potential Legal Issues; and Marketing Strategies in Esports.
The Esports Industry Requires a Multi-disciplinary Skillset
Speakers at Session 1, Dr. Baro Hyun, founder of an unprecedented Esports advisory practice at KPMG Consulting, Japan; and Joe Jacko, the League of Legends Head Coach at the University of Southern California, shared their Esports career pathway and gave suggestions on personal Esports career development.
Jacko recalled how he started his Esports carreer with winning over US$20,000 in sponsorships with teams he had created. “That helped me to sort out coaching positions in universities across the country, from Delaware to California,” Jacko said. “It allowed me to take a dive into all the important issues and to directly tie my academic pursuits to gaming and Esports,” he added.
Inequalities in Esports and Unionization of Players
Speaker at Session 2, Mathew Jessep, Senior Fellow, The University of Melbourne, and Principal Lawyer, Game Legal, informed the contractual relationship between Esports teams and players and gave an idea on how these contracts can take shape and be implemented.
Jessep shared his experiences of building his own career from a sports lawyer and expanding to esports. “Seeing esports through a sports law lens, I saw many cross issues, such as sports governance and sports integrity,” Jessep said. “But I also identified some gaps, which I have since been trying to address,” he added.
Jessep provided a summary of notable judgements which provide a basis for players’ rights. While the outcomes of such judgements have a long way to go with regard to adopting practice into policy reform, Jessep offered examples where governments and players’ unions and associations have opportunities to take on a bigger role in providing support and services to players across the spectrum of the industry.
Marketing Strategies in Esports
Session 3 focused on marketing strategies. Aiman Arabain, Founder, NAJIN ESPORTS Streamer Content Creator; and Kamilla M. Sumagui, Team Owner of The Refuge Esports and formerly PH Bandits Management of UCLA PH, spoke at Session 3, provided first-hand experiences, as industry professionals, about building careers in Esports.
“When I first got into the Esports business I had been the manager of the National Federation of Cycling [of the Philippines] and found that there were a lot of hindrances in the Esports scene, such as lack of knowledge in marketing and business management,” Sumagui said in Session 3.
“People saw a lot of potential in my expertise, and now I am sitting here and am happy to share my expertise with a larger international audience,” she added.
Summary of the Webinar Series
The Esports Webinar Series involved YESPORTS and APRU pointing out that with an average retirement age of 25 for professional gamers, a career in Esports has been long stigmatized. However, with much more robust career offerings throughout the entire ecosystem, players can now see beyond the gamer role as viable career pathway.
More information about the webinar series and Revisit the webinar recordings >>
Cyberport Brings Together Hong Kong and Pacific Rim Youth for Esports Exchange
Original by Cyberport, Media OutReach
Workshop Organised with APRU Teaches How to Win Heavyweight Brand Sponsorships for Esports Development
HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 30 April 2021 – Hong Kong Cyberport and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), a consortium of 58 leading universities in the Pacific Rim region, today held the APRU Esports Fellowship Workshop on the Cyberport campus and online. Talon Esports, a Cyberport incubatee and well-known organiser of esports leagues, shared its perspective on the esports business ecosystem and how marketing and business sponsorship can benefit the industry’s development. 30 students from universities in Hong Kong and the Pacific Rim, including the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the School of Professional and Continuing Education of the University of Hong Kong (HKU SPACE) and the Open University of Hong Kong, joined the workshop and exchanged views with fellow students who share their passion for esports.
Participating students conducted a mock sponsor pitch to enhance their knowledge of the esports ecosystem.
Eric Chan, Chief Public Mission Officer of Cyberport, said, “Cyberport is committed to cultivating local young talent and providing them with diversified entrepreneurship and career opportunities. As a high-growth emerging industry, esports and digital entertainment present younger generations with a rich array of opportunities, from content development to team management and training, and from event planning to brand marketing. Through this workshop, participants learned about the esports industry’s business models and the unique advantages of Hong Kong’s esports companies. Those aspiring to a career in esports could also broaden their horizons and enjoy fruitful exchanges via the APRU network with their counterparts from other universities in the Pacific Rim.”
Industry Leader Shares Tips on Winning Sponsorships
According to the latest forecast from industry research institute Newzoo, the global esports market’s value will reach USD1.084 billion in 2021, representing year-on-year growth of 14.5%. Business sponsorship will account for USD641 million, close to 60% of the total value. This demonstrates that business sponsorship is the esports industry’s bread and butter.
As a Cyberport incubatee, Talon Esports is well-known for its League of Legends team, PSG Talon, as well as for the successful esports events it has staged, such as the VALORANT competitions in Hong Kong and Taiwan which have attracted lucrative sponsorships from a wide variety of businesses including sportswear company Nike, KFC Thailand, Hong Kong virtual bank Mox and gaming seat developer Recaro. Today’s workshop tutor, Sean Zhang, CEO and Co-founder of Talon Esports, noted: “Everything begins with the fans. Esports fans typically represent a very valuable consumer segment for many brands, but they are also notoriously difficult to reach through traditional channels. So the most important thing for us to understand from a partnership perspective is what our partners are looking to achieve, from both a business and a branding standpoint, and then our job is to work out how we can best help them bridge that gap between them and the gaming community in a way that is authentic and adds value for our fans too.”
Sponsor Pitch Simulations
Each participating university, including the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, HKU SPACE, the Open University of Hong Kong, the Far Eastern Federal University, the National Taiwan University, the National University of Singapore, the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, the University of British Columbia, the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Washington, arranged for two to three representatives to join the workshop. Grouped into five teams, the students were required to conduct a sponsor pitch for a popular esports league. To enhance their knowledge of the esports ecosystem, feedback and suggestions were provided by the tutor.
Organising inter-university tournaments and academic competitions
Dr Christopher Tremewan, APRU Secretary General, said, “Empowering future Esports leaders in the Pacific Rim brought APRU and Cyberport together to create the APRU Esports Fellowship Program. Through Cyberport, the new generation will have access to the resources they need to develop skills and build networks for careers in the thriving Esports industry, including access to over 140 Esports start-ups. A perk of our program is that students will have the exclusive opportunity to pitch to industry leaders after learning about sponsorship relations and insider tips that cannot be found in textbooks. Going forward, we will forge ahead with this partnership and offer more opportunities for students to learn through student-led inter-university tournaments, academic competitions and fellowships.”
APRU is a premier alliance of research universities, established in Los Angeles in 1997 by the presidents of UCLA, Berkeley, Caltech and the University of Southern California. It aims to foster collaboration between member universities to promote economic, scientific and cultural advancement in the Pacific Rim. APRU now has a membership of more than 50 leading research universities.
Organised by Cyberport in partnership with APRU and the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, the APRU Esports Fellowship Program is a one-year programme dedicated to the esports industry. Cyberport’s session in Hong Kong is the programme’s third workshop, with the first two hosted by the National University of Singapore and the University of California, Los Angeles. The next workshop is planned for May, and will be hosted by the University of British Columbia. In addition to workshops, the programme also includes competitions which aim to boost the student’s esports skills and techniques.
Cyberport is an innovative digital community with over 1,650 start-ups and technology companies. It is managed by Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, which is wholly owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government. With a vision to be the hub for digital technology thereby creating a new economic driver for Hong Kong, Cyberport is committed to nurturing a vibrant tech ecosystem by cultivating talent, promoting entrepreneurship among youth, supporting start-ups on their growth journey, fostering industry development by promoting strategic collaboration with local and international partners, and integrating new and traditional economies by accelerating digital transformation in the public and private sectors.
For more information, please visit www.cyberport.hk.
YESPORTS ESPORTS APPRENTICESHIP Recipient Announced
Original from Yesports
Grooming and supporting the next esports generations of all parts of the world, Yesports announces its recipient for its FIRST Yesports Esports Apprenticeship. After reviewing a pool of remarkable applications, we are thrilled to announce that Samuel He from the University of British Columbia of Canada will be awarded the USD$10,000 apprenticeship to support his college education and esports dream. He was selected out of hundreds of applicants around the world after displaying exceptional academic achievement, extra-curricular participation and passion for esports.
Samuel is a former professional Starcraft2 player under the premier organization Complexity Gaming. His experience in esports spans over 8 years and has played on the top stages such as Red Bull Detroit and MLG Anaheim. Furthermore, he has trained in the Invictus Gaming team house and was also a student of Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn. He has also been sponsored by NCSoft to compete in England for the Blade and Soul World Championship Qualifiers in 2018. He is studying a Masters of Music under world-famous clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester and is a recipient of the prestigious British Columbia Graduate Scholarship.
“Thanks so much to Yesports and APRU for hosting this amazing initiative! I believe that the increased involvement of esports within our educational institutions is a strong step forward in popularizing esports as an industry, legitimizing it as a career path, and integrating it as part of our modern-day culture” Samuel said.
Funded by Yesports, the apprenticeship program enables youth to continue their education at the collegiate level while developing their hobbies. The organization has been actively taking part in nurturing all-rounded talents and future leaders in the blooming and dynamic esports communities. This fund helps support those who exhibit the same commitment. Applications were accepted from students who are planning to further pursue their studies in colleges and universities.
“Building on that commitment, in the coming year, Samuel will be our ambassador promoting esports and our brand in his local communities and schools by holding various events and networking with different esports societies,” says Yesports’ Apprenticeship Coordinator, Ms. Ariel Chu. “He will as well show up on our social platforms a lot as he will be creating content for us.”
On the other hand, the recipient will be offered a 4-6 weeks work term at Yesports office based in Hong Kong, a chance to gain invaluable exposure to the esports industry that can give him a competitive edge. “With Yesports, Samuel will get a taste of how an Asian esports company operates, as well as the chance to help organize both online and offline world-class tournaments and events,” Ms. Chu further commented.
Lastly, Yesports welcome all interested students to apply our new series of the Yesports Apprenticeship 2021-2022 which is now opened for application. We want to cater to students of all aspects; therefore, we have created 5 types of scholarships targeting applicants with different talents and skills. Please visit our website for more information.
We look forward to seeing more all-round students like Samuel having the opportunity to glow in the esports world. Congratulations!
For more information,
please visit: https://yesports.asia/
Apply for Apprenticeship: https://www.yesportstalents.com/scholarship
For further enquiry, please contact:
Ms. Ariel Chu
+852 6514 9262
Natalie TT Wong
+852 5622 4680
Yesports, the global O2O hub for talents to meet and connect to international employers and sponsors for unlimited career and business opportunities.
Yesports is a global “esports +” social media platform where gamers meet celebrities for fun and opportunities to show their talent! It connects game lovers to a dynamic world of resources and people.
Yesports Talent showcases talents from around the world and provides a platform for connecting to the corporates to maximize marketing synergies.
Additional Important Information
Yesports does not guarantee any of the applications will be successful in attaining the apprenticeship grant nor does the final amount offered.
As the apprenticeship grant is provided by Yesports, the recipient(s) maybe subjected to additional terms and conditions, not currently presented in this document, as implemented by Yesports. The University does not have any input nor control over any of the terms and conditions as required by Yesports. The nominated recipient(s) should independently decide his/her acceptance of the apprenticeship grant.
APRU on JUMPSTART: How Esports Fellowships Can Pave the Way for A Stable, Ethical, Diverse Industry
Written by Reethu Ravi
Original post on JUMPSTART
With the global esports market valued at US$1.1 billion in 2019 and expected to grow to US$6.81 billion by 2027, esports is beginning to offer serious potential as a career option for young gamers.
Market growth has received a jolt from the increasing popularity of video games, awareness around esports, audience reach, engagement activities, and mobile usage in emerging countries. Technological infrastructure for league tournaments has also improved. Furthermore, esports also experienced a triumphant rise in viewership and audience engagement amid the pandemic.
Amid this shift, universities and colleges are beginning to offer esports programs and fellowships to turn out skilled professional gamers. In the U.S., several universities are offering esports degree courses, and over 100 high schools have started esports programs.
Meanwhile, offering students a curriculum that goes beyond the technical know-how, the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), a network of leading universities linking the Americas, Asia, and Australasia, launched the first and largest global inter-university Esports Fellowship Program on December 12.
With a vocational scope beyond just the gaming, the program will expose students to a wide range of possibilities in terms of career and employment in esports, according to APRU Secretary-General Christopher Tremewan.
Speaking to Jumpstart, Tremewan adds that along with the technical aspects of the industry, the program will also provide “exposure to some of the issues that are not normally dealt with, within the more technical side or the player side.”
Meanwhile, the research side will explore the psychological impact of gaming and esports and ways to make it “a more healthy industry with elevated ethics on diversity, inclusion, and dealing with the issue of addiction.”
Christopher Tremewan, Secretary-General of APRU
At the end of the year-long program, each student will also have to come up with an original project. Unlike a typical undergraduate program, the APRU fellowship is “an establishment of an international community of professionals who are concerned with the broader shaping of the industry in the future,” adds Tremewan.
“I think the fellowship is a way of starting to provide leadership and the students themselves are already providing leadership in their own settings. But how can institutions then pick up this wonderful leadership and elevate it or give it more influence internationally? And that’s what we’re trying to do,” he says.
How universities can help make the esports industry more stable
Akin to how industries and new technologies go through a hype cycle, followed by downturns and eventual stability, esports is currently at the top of the hype cycle, explains Tremewan. He notes that “there’s a lot of investment going in, but not a lot of profit being made.”
However, the industry is growing, he adds. “It’s a medium shaping the way we interact socially, especially the current generation. So, it’s here to stay, but has a means to become a more stable industry.”
And universities and colleges can go a long way in achieving this. One way, Tremewan says, is by shaping the future of esports through research.
“Looking ahead 10 years – and you can only do that through research – looking at the ways in which we can deal with some of the negative side, but also the positive side. For example, researching what happens to the brain when you’re playing these team sports at a high level and making decisions that split second as a team,” he explains.
In addition to this, business schools are engaged with the business aspects of the industry and how to make it more sustainable, and there are students looking at the therapeutic benefits of gaming. For instance, there’s a lab at UC San Diego that is engaging with autistic people making their own games and looking at how this helps them, Tremewan says.
Furthermore, there are simulation games which look at global issues and ways to solve them.
“As 5G and more virtual reality comes into the picture, the technical aspects of the game will also change radically,” he adds.
Stressing the importance of shaping the industry positively, Tremewan says, “We need to be in on the ground floors, in research institutions [and] educational institutions, making sense of this, and making sure that we shape it in a positive way that contributes to society.”
Not enough universities are providing esports programs
According to Tremewan, a third of the world’s population are watching or playing some form of online game. While most universities are finding out that their students are fully engaged in gaming, not enough universities are “influenced by this new environment into responding.”
Echoing this, Gabriella Leung, co-founder of Hong Kong Student Esports Association (HKSESA), says that there are not many esports programs available in Hong Kong currently. The ones that exist are mostly facilitated by private companies. Leung is enthused about the idea of universities providing a different kind of support.
“That will be very great, because they will do some research, and they’ll have some academic support for it,” she says.
Gabriella Leung, co-founder of Hong Kong Student Esports Association (HKSESA)
Many universities in the Asia-Pacific region are taking up the opportunity, including Yonsei University in Seoul, which has an esports department. While some universities have research groups, others have started to put in place ecosystems that provide academic pathways in esports from high school to tertiary education.
There also diversity courses and projects involving women students, because research suggested that young women who play sports are more likely to study medicine. So universities are exploring programs like the APRU fellowship which can help the students move into another phase of their careers.
Tackling the misconceptions surrounding esports
Tremewan says that while there are several misconceptions about the esports industry, there is also a “real negative side to the industry.” So the key, he says, is to make it clear what the benefits to the society are and to play an active role in dealing with the negative aspects early on.
Taking the example of Facebook, which began in universities, Tremewan says that universities ignored what was happening in their own institutions, and lost out on opportunities to shape and cultivate the social phenomenon Facebook has created. So, rather than waiting until esports has positive and negative effects, as in the case with Facebook, Tremewan suggests that universities need to “recognize it as a huge area of social interaction that we can turn to the benefit of society – economic productivity, education, research, and so on.”
According to Leung, one of the major challenges that gamers in Hong Kong face is the public perception towards esports.
“In Hong Kong, especially for parents and schools, they usually think gaming equals to poor academic performance. And they also think that gaming is very unhealthy – that if we’re promoting esports, we are promoting video game addiction,” she says.
Additionally, Leung says that Asian parents, for whom earning is important, don’t believe that students can earn money through the esports industry.
Leung believes that esports fellowship programs can help change the public’s perception towards this space. Echoing this, Tremewan says that universities engaging with new professional disciplines tends to advance learning and enhance the reputations of such activities.
“For example, if we had any university esports league, it would have very clear ethical standards instead of leaving it just to the publishers of the industry,” he explains.
Compared to traditional sports fellowships, Tremewan says that esports fellowships “are not trying to incentivize top players to come into the university and win games for the university.” Instead, the fellowship plans to take an active role in facilitating employment and “[shaping esports’] future in a responsible way.”
Challenges in Hong Kong
In addition to issues of public perception, gamers in Hong Kong also struggle with the dearth of professional teams in the city. Opportunities are thin on the ground for local gamers to get involved. Leung adds that universities and high schools haven’t introduced esports programs or scholarships. For gamers who want to be an organizer or a caster (a play by play announcer) there are not many ways to learn the techniques.
“[There is] basically no education program for this. So, it is very difficult for them to get a job in the esports industry and get involved in that,” she says.
As a solution, Leung says that it is important for the government and the university to take the lead in educating the public.
“The fellowship program will be a good start. It will be better if there will be a degree program in esports in the universities of Hong Kong. I think the most important [part] is to educate them, and to tell them what esports truly is,” she says.
Furthermore, the networking opportunities that fellowships provide can help promote cross border learning.
“For any sports, it is always good to connect people from different countries, because we can improve ourselves [and] we can know what they’re doing in the industry,” she says, adding that for Hong Kong gamers, it will be beneficial to learn from countries like Taiwan or Korea.
Tremewan says that once the presidents or vice chancellors of universities understand how they can play a role which benefits the university as well as society, “we can see some movement pretty rapidly.”
When universities start to engage with student gamers through education and research, and then engage with the industry and with government, the entire ecosystem will reap the benefits, he adds.
Tremewan says that he’s optimistic about Hong Kong, as the government is supportive of esports. In addition, it is also surrounded by countries which are deeply engaged in esports, such as South Korea.
“We’ve all been sidelined a little bit by the pandemic. But esports is one of the things that has been able to continue, because of the virtual nature,” Tremewan says. “But we’re pretty sure that things again are going to develop quite quickly and Hong Kong could be an important base for shaping a responsible industry internationally.”
Images courtesy of HKSESA and APRU
APRU Launches the First Global Inter-University Esports Conference and Fellowship Program
HONG KONG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–APRU launches the first and largest global inter-university Esports MetaGame Conference and Fellowship Program to introduce some of the only international pilot Esports programs with curriculum for students that go beyond technical knowhow.
In partnership with Cyberport, the virtual conference consists of 3 elements – gaming, policy discussions and next generation learning – creating a platform for global gamers to compete while inviting Esports scholars and industry leaders to discuss the emergence of Hong Kong in the international Esports landscape and other Esports topics, such as entrepreneurship, diversity and inclusion, and career pathways.
From gamers and industry partners to students and governments, the MetaGame Conference incorporates the full Esports ecosystem with an aim to expand the purview of the Esports landscape. With Esports’ high economic potential evidenced by its US$1.1 billion in global revenue in 2019, there is tremendous opportunity for career development.
By establishing this program from the Hong Kong headquarters, APRU can facilitate the international collaboration of Esports leaders in the Pacific Rim by connecting students and communities across borders. Hong Kong is the first host city of the MetaGame Conference as an emerging regional Esports hub, future conferences will rotate so that APRU universities can demonstrate their unique capabilities within the Esports ecosystem.
Chris Tremewan, Secretary General of APRU said, “Students are leaders in creating the ecosystem of Esports. It is not just a game but a new way of interacting which is changing society (like social media). Esports holds out opportunities in employment, industry development, education and personal development, public policy leadership and cutting-edge research. The Asia-Pacific region is the dynamic core of the development of a global Esports ecosystem and with APRU’s 56 member universities around the region, we can help establish a sustainable and ethical industry with spinoffs for health and social equity as well as economic productivity.”
“Working with business and government, we are excited to bring a new Esports learning experience to students that not only builds a more sustainable industry but widens employment opportunities far beyond it: business and management, technology and design, performance and health, and socio-economic well-being and appropriate public policy.”
Tecnológico de Monterrey, APRU and Cyberport joined in partnership to launch the year-long virtual APRU Esports Fellowship Program today which will foster the growth of critical skills for future Esports leaders by contributing to outcomes for students such as internship and job placement opportunities and activities such as hackathons, pitching competitions and industry networking.
The curriculum goes beyond the technical training related to Esports and focuses on ethical leadership, industry connections, community building, design thinking, entrepreneurship, and cultural awareness. Students will be deeply connected to the entire Esports industry – publishers, leagues, and its technological advancement – for a greater opportunity to develop their Esports skillset and career.
APRU joins industry & government in shaping the eSports ecosystem in Hong Kong
Cyberport, a government-run incubator for the digital tech industry, unveiled a new e-sports arena at the new venue that can host up to 10 players and as many as 200 spectators during the 2019 Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum (DELF): Powering up a vibrant esports ecosystem. The new venue will host international tournaments as well as local contests, which will help Hong Kong boost its credentials as a regional gaming hub.
Sherman Cheng, APRU Director (Finance & Administration) shaped the discussion on “Wellness and Professional Development” through a discussion about the APRU University E-sports International Initiative (UEII). UEII connects 11 universities across the Pacific Rim through an international e-sports organization. The aim is to develop a comprehensive strategy for a coordinating body that will serve as a platform for its members to help shape universities’ relationships with the e-sports industry and grow their respective e-sports programs including student competitions, educational programs, research, equity initiatives, and employment opportunities.
With Cyberport’s mission to facilitate robust growth of e-sports and digital entertainment industry, the Forum brought together leaders to better understand the value-chain of this booming sector, connect key stakeholders in the field, and unlock infinite business opportunities.
The DELF 2019 attracted over 700 participants from the industry and public to hear from over 40 e-sports icons, influencers, industry elites and celebrity gamers from around the world who shared insight on the innovative evolution of digital entertainment sector focusing on e-sports. The Forum highlights included the unveiling of the e-sports venue, a game zone, e-sports decoder, start-up showcase, celebrity invitational game, and backstage tour.
DELF 2019 also kick starts a month-long digital entertainment extravaganza embracing an array of exciting large-scale e-sports and gaming events.
The Founding Members of UEII are: Far Eastern Federal University; Keio University; Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; National University of Singapore; Tecnológico de Monterrey; The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; The University of British Columbia, University of California, Los Angeles; University of Southern California; University of Washington; Yonsei University.