Strömbäcks Folkhögskola in northern Sweden is taking esports schooling to a whole new level.
By launching a full time post high school Counter-Strike: Global Offensive education students can now get paid to play the game they love.
– This is a professional education, we’re not going to play around for a year, Lars Johansson, the schools principle, tells Aftonbladet Esport.
Earlier this year Aftonbladet Esport have reported on the quickly rising amounts of Swedish high schools offering esports courses to their students.
Now Strömbäck Folkhögskola outside of Umeå in northern Sweden is taking it to the next level. As their own journalist students were the first to reveal, they are set to launch a full time education in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive this fall, and therefor becoming the first Swedish equivalent to a college to offer that.
– I was very skeptical in the beginning, Lars Johansson, principle of the school, admits and continues:
– I thought of all the stereotypes: ’Esports, really? Isn’t that just lazy kids sitting at home?’. That in itself is not an argument not to launch this education though, perhaps even the opposite. This is the second larges sport in the world, as I understand it now that I’ve done some research.
In Sweden people who study receive, and can borrow, money from the government. And since the students at Strömbäck will be practicing full time, they’ll get paid to play the game they love. The education will be one year long and have 15 pupils can participate each year.
– An other important thing is that we want to bring in female gamers. I’m not sure it’s going to be 50/50, but it’s definitely our goal to have some girls in the class. From my understanding the scene is pretty male dominated and girls seem to have it tougher.
– It’d be fun to have mix teams or a female team. But the main point is that this is available for them too. They’re also youngsters playing games in my world.
So far everything’s not decided and there’s still some planning to do. For example, Lars says they are looking to recruit an expert from the esports scene who can teach their students. Both Ninjas in Pyjamas and Fnatic have or will be contacted.
The students will practice aim, reflexes and team play, but also get general education in areas such as physical exercise, diet and economy. They’ll also get the chance to face other teams at events such as Dreamhack and more local ones such as FrostByte and Nordsken.
People over 18 years of age who have passed high school will be able to apply for esports at Strömbäck Folkhögskola. But first awaits a selection process.
– We want it documented that you’ve actually played this game and done so sucessfully, because this is a professional education, we’re not going to play around for a year. Here the students will develop and get contact with the industry, Lars says.