Oxford University, one of the oldest universities in the world, will partner with Tencent to offer eSports courses for the first time.
According to Reuters, the courses are part of a newly announced trade deal between China’s second largest company and the United Kingdom government.
The next few years offer a golden opportunity for the U.K. to work with companies such as Tencent to drive innovation and shape the future of global trade,
the U.K.’s Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox said at a press conference yesterday.
This marks yet another avenue for global expansion for Tencent, one of the world’s largest internet services companies. Oxford joins a number of British universities in offering eSports courses, following institutions like York University and its partnership with ESL UK, the world’s largest eSports company based in Cologne, Germany.
eSports plays an important role in the global academic community. Many U.S. universities offer eSports courses and even eSports scholarships for students. In addition, eSports management courses have also taken shape in Europe. For example, Vitality, the French eSports team, will send its players to take courses at the newly created Gaming Campus, an eSports startup with a dedicated campus for eSports education.
Dot Esports, a competitive gaming news site part of GAMURS, an eSports multimedia company, has reached out to Oxford for more information on the Tencent courses, but did not receive a response at this time.
Aside from providing Oxford with a eSports curriculum, the trade deal between Tencent and the U.K. government also facilitates Tencent’s entry into U.K.’s fashion, film, and video game industries.
Tencent has deep influence in the world’s eSports industry. The company holds majority stakes in League of Legends developer Riot Games and Fortnite developer Epic Games, and holds the publishing rights to Bluehole’s Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds in China.